On Wednesday morning, police stated that a middle school teacher from Newtown, Connecticut, had been arrested for carrying a loaded, concealed firearm into the busy suburban school where he worked. The incident was made all the worse because back in 2012, Newtown experienced a tremendous tragedy when 26 children and teachers at another elementary school were killed in a school shooting.
The teacher in question is 46-year-old Jason M. Adams and is reportedly a 10-year veteran at his job. The school’s armed security officers were the ones to take him into custody around 9 a.m. after an unidentified person noticed and reported him carrying a gun on the school grounds. Following this detainment, the police were called in and they placed the teacher under arrest.
The arrest of the teacher occurred a mere four months following the third anniversary of the December 2012 massacre at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 first-graders and six staff members were killed. Many people on social media are advocating the teacher’s action and considering this fact, the authorities should be pleased that teachers are armed but others are saying that this is exactly why the teacher should be punished. The teacher’s intentions are still unknown and given the environment, a student or another staff could easily have seen the gun and created mass panic in their fear that the teacher would do them harm.
Following the Sandy Hook massacre, the presence of armed security officers on the grounds of every Newtown school became a mandatory requirement. The police department completely overhauled their system and placed the security guards, many of whom are retired police officers, in every building at the schools. The police department advised that they did not believe that Adams posed an actual threat to anyone on the school grounds but nonetheless, Newtown Police Chief James Viadero did also go on to state that he believes the pre-arranged system is what led to such an adept handling of the incident.
“The Newtown Police Department is confident that security precautions put in place prior to the incident were instrumental in the quick and appropriate response… This close working relationship between the school system and law enforcement personnel is essential in resolving incidents of this nature”
According to the Department, the officers followed up the arrest with an investigation into the accusation and charged the teacher of illegal possession of a weapon on school grounds once the truth of the claims had been substantiated. The police did also verify during the process that Adams does at least have a valid and legal Connecticut state gun permit. However, as New York Daily News points out, permit or not, it remains illegal to be inside of a school with a loaded gun and Newtown School policy also bans the mere possession of a gun while on property belonging to any school.
Newtown Middle School’s website confirms that Jason M. Adams teaches science at their school. The school system released a statement about the teacher, his gun and arrest, stating that it is a “very serious and troubling” incident as well as advising that the teacher had been placed on administrative leave until a thorough investigation had been carried out by school officials. The administrative investigation which was launched is in addition to the criminal case against Adams.
The school assures the general public that numerous precautions will be taken in order to continue to ensure the safety of their “students, staff and community members.”
“This matter is very serious and troubling, both the Newtown Public School system and the Newtown Police Department took immediate steps to address the matter. Both agencies have been working closely together to investigate the incident and are taking precautions.”
Following his arrest for the possession of the firearm, The Washington Post noted that Adams was later released without the need for bond and will be scheduled to make an appearance in court on April 20. The police have notified the state’s weapons licensing and permit unit of the arrest.
[Photo by Newtown Police Department via AP Images]