The Saratoga Springs Board of Education rejected a resolution at its October 9 meeting to allow the district’s grounds monitors to carry firearms. The grounds monitors, who are mostly retired police officers, patrol school campuses and buildings, assist in student arrival and dismissal and provide security for after-school activities. Apparently they have been carrying arms for the last approximately thirty years in violation of state law.
Here are two articles from area newspapers regarding the controversy.
Not surprisingly the issue has become quite contentious. In order to better understand the controversy I have asked two people with differing views to write for this blog.
Speaking in favor of arming the monitors:
Kara Rosettie is a mother of 3 boys, two of which are in the largest elementary school, Dorothy Nolan and one son that is in Maple Ave. She have been in the Saratoga Spring school district since 2012.
Speaking in opposition to arming the monitors:
Shafer Gaston is a retired submarine officer who has lived in Saratoga Springs off and on since 2006 while serving in the US Navy. He settled here with his family in 2016 and works as a project manager/industrial engineer. He has four children, three born in Saratoga Springs, all of whom attend the excellent schools in The City in the Country.
My wife Jane, a retired teacher, and I enjoy shooting skeet. For those of you unfamiliar with skeet, there are two “houses” that hold devices that launch disks known colloquially as birds. There are a series of “stations” in a semi circle between the two houses that participants rotate through attempting to break the birds. I also shoot something called sporting clays.
I am an avid upland bird hunter with my English Setter, Miss Kate. I trained Kate and we pursue ruffed grouse and woodcock. I also enjoy cooking and I am quite partial to these game birds.
Neither Jane nor I are members of the National Rifle Association. We are both deeply troubled by gun violence in this country. Neither of us sees any simple solution to the issue. The friends I enjoy shooting with run the gamut from teamsters to neurosurgeons. We need to find a way to better protect the public while allowing responsible gun owners to pursue their sport. My hope is that this blog will help to foster a civil conversation that can move us forward in that direction.