Gregory Thayer, Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, and other statewide Republican candidates will hold a press conference offering solutions to school violence the State House steps in Montpelier today, Friday, June 3, at 2 PM. [Updates expected by mid-afternoon.]
After the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, TX, several of Vermont’s schools closed last week in response to various threats.
On June 1, classes were canceled at Orleans Elementary School. School staff had informed the police that they’d received a report of an alleged threat against the school by a student.
Malletts Bay School in Colchester received a scare when a student found a training hand grenade in the woods and brought it into the classroom. Students, teachers, and administrators were evacuated and police called.
Shooter threats also were made to at least three high schools — in Montpelier, Hinesburg, and (today) in Orleans. Neither Montpelier nor CVU in Hinesburg had school resource officers (SRO) on the premises.
Orleans Elementary School also had no SRO, state police confirmed this week.
At 4 AM this morning, Vermont State Police announced Lake Region Union High School in Orleans will be closed today due to an alleged threat of violence by a student yesterday, June 2.
In the wake of the “Defund the Police” campaigns and public outcries against police brutality, the officers were removed from campuses because “students may be traumatized by their presence,” Thayer said.
How much more will students be traumatized by an actual school shooting, though? Compared to the agony of such an experience, renewed SRO presence seems like a small price to pay, Thayer said.
At the press conference, candidates will discuss practical and feasible solutions to this crisis.
“There is no doubt that measures are needed to keep our children safe,” Thayer said. “But they should be common-sense measures, not the typical gun control grab from the democratic leadership.”