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Sean McCutcheon, Armed Highland School Officer, Accidentally Discharges Gun; District Puts Program On Hold
March 6, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Sean McCutcheon, Armed Highland School Officer, Accidentally Discharges Gun; District Puts Program On Hold

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted:   |  Updated: 03/06/2013 1:46 pm EST

While legislators in several states are seeking to arm teachers or place police officers in schools, a recent incident at a high school in Highland, N.Y., forced the district to put its school resource officer program on hold.

According to local reports, officer Sean McCutcheon discharged his gun in a school hallway Tuesday while on duty at Highland High School. Though the circumstances surrounding the incident are currently under investigation, Highland Central School District Superintendent Deborah Haab said it was an accident.

"No students or staff were in the area when the weapon discharged, and no one was injured as a result of this accidental discharge," Haab told reporters and parents during a meeting Tuesday evening (see video above). "Moving forward, I'm sure the board will be having a discussion about overall school security."

The apparent mishap occurred near the end of the school day, at 1:38 p.m., whileMcCutcheon was patrolling the school.

Though Town of Lloyd Police Chief Daniel Waage refused to discuss specifics, the Times Herald-Record reports that Waage confirmed McCutcheon has undergone drug and alcohol tests as part of the investigation. McCutcheon was not expected to return to work Wednesday, and the school district's resource officer program has been suspended pending the results of the inquiry.

The incident highlights a larger question, part of the national debate among legislators, teachers and parents: Should guns be allowed in schools as a protective measure, and if so, who should carry them?

In the aftermath of the Dec. 14 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., school safety has become a key issue, prompting President Barack Obama to recommend individual schools make the choice of whether or not to enlist armed resource officers. Under a federally funded program, these "specially trained police officers" would be present in schools to "help prevent school crime and student-on-student violence."

Although experts are skeptical, arguing that armed guards in schools could cause more harm than good, some schools have already instituted school resource officer programs.

However, Tuesday's incident was not the first controversy to call such programs into question. In January, an armed security officer at a Michigan public school was reprimanded for leaving his unloaded gun unattended in the bathroom.

For the video go to:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/sean-mccutcheon-gun-school-highland_n_2819273.html

Replies

  • brookiecookie87
    March 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM


    And you DO realize there is a HUGE difference between the job an Officer does at a Police Station and a job a police officer does at a school, right?

    They are not needed at schools. Proctors are cheaper and perform the same task.

    Shutting down a school program like that doesn't put anyone in peril. The school will go on just like it did three months earlier. The school saves more money that they can use on something else.

    Quoting Woodbabe:

    You DO realize that the members of this program actually Are cops from the local community, right? They get extra training and are assigned to these schools?

    Quoting brookiecookie87:

    So you don't see a difference between a Sheriffs department and a school program.

    Let me give you a few hints. A Sheriffs department is something that is needed. Sometimes they make mistakes in the line of duty but they are absolutely still needed to keep people safe and enforce the law.

    A school program is completely different. You don't need a gun to keep people safe at a school. If a school has never had a gun problem and after hiring Police they start having a gun problem based ont he Police. It might be a smart move to put the program on hold.

    Especially since it is far cheaper to just hire a Proctor or two that can keep the peace at the school and make sure kids are not fighthing or doing whatever.

    So again. You are comparing apples and oranges here. A School program is NOTHING like Police Department.


    Quoting Woodbabe:

    They are both law enforcement officers...certified, trained and skilled. But wait I guess they ARE different...Those in schools have much more training in handling children and teens and the issues that arise with them, so I guess they ARE different. Thanks for the reminder.



    Quoting brookiecookie87:


    You don't see a difference between a sheriffs department and a school program?








  • brookiecookie87
    March 8, 2013 at 7:26 PM


    I think anyone would agree that there is a huge difference between an emergency and everyday patrols.

    Quoting Woodbabe:

    So...no cops allowed on school campus then? Or would you allow them if they're needec? Who would have to be called to get approval to allow them on campus? Are you going to have new regulations passed that says they have to check their guns back in at their metro office before heading to the schools if there's an emergency? Or do you just want cops to be unarmed in ALL aspects of their jobs?

    Quoting Ms.KitKat:

     Sucks huh. Just imagine if the discharged gun hit your kid. or ANY kid. Then imagine the media blitz against guns. This is a happier ending.


    Quoting Woodbabe:


    Really? She wants an entire program shut down and investigated because of a misfire of one weapon. Every person working that program loses work hours and income because ONE person screwed up.

  • Woodbabe
    March 9, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    We will just have to agree to disagree...maybe we can revisit this subject when your wee one is in high school.

    Quoting brookiecookie87:


    And you DO realize there is a HUGE difference between the job an Officer does at a Police Station and a job a police officer does at a school, right?

    They are not needed at schools. Proctors are cheaper and perform the same task.

    Shutting down a school program like that doesn't put anyone in peril. The school will go on just like it did three months earlier. The school saves more money that they can use on something else.

    Quoting Woodbabe:

    You DO realize that the members of this program actually Are cops from the local community, right? They get extra training and are assigned to these schools?

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