Kaya Henderson is, unsurprisingly, not okay with arming teachers

January 4, 2013

In the least surprising news of the day, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is not keen on arming teachers or otherwise bringing “good guys with guns” into her schools.

Appearing on WAMU-FM’s “Politics Hour,” Henderson rejected the more-guns-the-better approach that has been favored post-Newtown by the National Rifle Association and given shrift by some political leaders, including Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R).

“I don’t agree with that at all,” she said. “At Columbine, there were armed guards, but the disaster still happened.”

Henderson noted that DCPS employees undergo “active shooter” training to deal with a Newtown-like situation and have many other ways to deal with issues inside the schools: “Every day all kinds of tense and crazy things happen, but we equip them with tools to manage those issues. And I just think the more guns there are, the more opportunities there are for unintended things to happen.”

In other remarks, Henderson said she would be making a final announcement about school closures in the week beginning Monday, Jan. 14, and acknowledged that she’d seen several “encouraging” proposals from parent groups seeking alternatives to closings.

She also addressed the coming fight over modifying DCPS school boundaries and feeder patterns, a process set to begin later this year.

“I’m willing to do lots of hard things, but this is the thing I fear most,” she said. “The issues we’re going to confront are much deeper than D.C. Public Schools.”

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis | January 4, 2013