While some states are proposing laws that arm teachers and administrators, here in New Jersey (which rates high in gun control laws) the debate is whether to put armed security in public schools. Raymond Hayducka has given his informed opinion on the subject, but it is difficult to assess. He suggests that towns should place armed police officers in the schools, but that those who cannot afford to do so should not allow guns in the schools and instead should use unarmed security guards or unarmed retired police officers.
On the one hand, Hayducka raises some cogent points. Active duty police are kept current on all training certifications; they know how and when to use a weapon. They are also connected to the police communications networks, and can not only request assistance but interact smoothly with it both after and before it arrives. They are authorized to make arrests, and their presence in the schools would make them available as assets in other areas, working as "resource officers" and so becoming involved in teaching and counseling. His suggestions that armed security officers, even retired police officers, do not have these advantages and might create a liability situation for the schools in a bad situation, are certainly worth considering.
On the other hand, Hayducka's positions as president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and as South Brunswick police chief may suggest that the man is both biased in this opinion and ill-informed of the situation elsewhere in the state. The bias is obvious: police in schools would mean more hours for police officers and thus larger police forces. There is the bias of the self-defined expert against the perceived amateur--the example of the study in which psychologists showed no bias in evaluating the diagnoses of other psychologists or psychiatrists, but psychiatrists generally concluded that diagnoses which they were told came from other psychiatrists were right and those said to be from psychologists were wrong is exemplary in this, but it applies in many fields. There is also a vested interest in keeping control over persons working in what you deem to be your field, and private security would be outside the direct control of the police. Mr. Hayducka might not be intentionally biasing his statements, but the potential is there.
As to being ill-informed, the Brunswicks are part of the more densely populated New York metropolitan area, and a relatively affluent section. His position in an association of chiefs of police puts him in touch with those towns that have police chiefs. There are in this state many communities which have their own schools, or which host regional schools for several townships, which have no police departments, relying on the New Jersey State Police to provide police and emergency services. For them, it is not a matter of whether or not they can employ additional police, but whether they can afford any police department at all. These frequently are communities where farmers and hunters flourish, where guns are common and young people often have access to them. Hayducka would have it that if you live in such a community, you should not place armed security in your schools because, in his apparent opinion, your children will be safer if no one has a gun in the school (except the shooter) than if those present who have guns are not part of his organization.
Mr. Hayducka's position should not be dismissed easily; there are certainly advantages to having armed police officers in schools (indeed, the Rutgers University New Brunswick/Piscataway campus has its own New Jersey community police department covering the campus). That does not mean that the advantages of having armed security forces which are not police officers is a worse idea than having only unarmed security officers. The latter could, presumably, use their bodies as human shields against the bullets fired at our children, but that does not seem to be as practical a defense as arming a few people in the schools.
No, it seems that if having armed police officers in schools is a good idea because they are armed, having armed security is also a good idea--perhaps not as good an idea, but one that might be accessible to all those communities who otherwise would merely be hiring more playground monitors and putting them in uniforms.