Guam – Speaker Judi Won Pat is calling on Chief Justice Phil Carbullido to reconsider any plan that would provide handguns to School Resource Officers patrolling the island’s 5 High Schools.
In a letter to the Chief Justice, the Speaker expresses concern that the presence of firearms on campus would significantly increase “the risk that something terrible could go wrong.”
She calls on Carbullido to “reconsider the use of any firearms by court employees when on school grounds and when performing contracted services for DOE.”
“My hope is that our children’s safety is not compromised by those who are supposed to guarantee it,” states the Speaker.
READ Speaker Won Pat’s release in FULL below:
Speaker Speaker Won Pat to Chief Justice Carbullido: please reconsider the use of firearms by court employees when on school grounds.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2011
Today, Speaker Judith T. Won Pat, Ed.D., issued a letter to Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido requesting that any plans that call for
the use of firearms by court employees when on school grounds be reconsidered.
According to Speaker Won Pat, it is her understanding that the courts have entered into an agreement with the Department of Education (DOE)
to provide school safety as part of a U.S. Department of Education grant. In short, DOE contracted the judiciary to address bullying,
campus break-ins, and other safety issues.
In her letter, Won Pat cautions that “my hope is that our children’s safety is not compromised by those who are supposed to guarantee it.”
“The presence of firearms on campus as part of normal school operations significantly increases the risk that something terrible could go wrong. In your capacity as Chief Justice of the Unified Judiciary of Guam, please reconsider the use of any firearms by court employees when on school grounds and when performing contracted services for DOE.”
During a roundtable on school safety held in September, the Committee on Education recommended greater parental involvement, activities for
students, student peer mentoring, and inter-agency collaboration. “There was no mention of the use of guns by court or DOE officials.
As a matter of fact, the Guam Police Department also cautioned that the roles, operating procedures, and associated policies surrounding this program be better articulated” mentions Won Pat.
Speaker Won Pat closes by stating “the decision to not carry a firearm on a public school campus is in the best interest of all concerned.”