GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Superintendents from three Greenburgh school districts have joined 75 other members of the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents in calling for gun control legislation.
Superintendents from Greenburgh, Elmsford and Edgemont are among the 78 schools in the council to sign the letter after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The letter calls for "adequate funding and access" to mental health services, for the federal assault rifle ban to be reinstated and for the federal "gun show loophole" to be closed.
Under federal law, unlicensed dealers at gun shows are not required to perform background checks on buyers.
"We, the superintendents of the 78 school districts represented by the (LHCSS), call on our state and federal legislators to immediately enact stricter gun control legislation," the letter says.
Edgemont Superintendent Nancy Taddiken, who led a discussion Tuesday night with parents on school security measures, said her support doesn't defeat the possibility of placing armed guards in the schools as some parents want.
"I think the two are separate," Taddiken said of the gun control letter and armed school security.
The letter also called for anyone convicted of a violent crime, misdemeanor or felony to be barred from buying a gun, "even when these were committed when they were juveniles," the letter says.
Greenburgh Central 7 Superintendent Ron Ross said he wants to go a step further and keep guns out of Greenburgh schools entirely, including armed guards and security resource officers.
"Under no circumstances do I want guns in the school. Absolutely not. Schools have to be safe," Ross said. "What are we going to turn public schools into? Armed camps? That's not what I'm about, and I don't think that's what Greenburgh Central 7 School District is about."
Elmsford Superintendent Barbara Peters said she hopes the letter's call for gun control will reassure Elmsford parents that the district is still seeking ways to improve school safety.
"Many of our parents have been asking for information about steps the school has taken to ensure the safety of their children," said Peters, adding that all three schools have had a police presence every school day since the Dec. 14 deadly shooting. "One of the areas we take great pride in is the tremendous collaboration between Elmsford police and the Elmsford school system."
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