Conservative candidates call for armed protection in Vermont schools

On the Statehouse steps Friday, conservative-leaning candidates running for office in Vermont called for school safety instead of gun control in the wake of recent mass shootings.

Guy Page

ARMED GUARDS IN SCHOOLS: On Friday at the Vermont Statehouse, Gregory Thayer, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, called for placing armed officers at schools to prevent mass shootings.

“We action want action and we’re calling on the governor and the House and the Senate leadership to come back into session to adopt common-sense approaches to school safety, not more senseless gun control legislation that does absolutely nothing to protect our children or our people,” said Gregory Thayer, a resident of Rutland and candidate for lieutenant governor.

The various candidates proposed that lawmakers propose legislation to put armed professionals on school campuses. Thayer said retired law enforcement and veterans would be readily available and equipped for the task.

“The other component is veterans and retired law enforcement officers, let’s get them in the schools to help out with the safety of our children,” he said.

Mark Coester, an independent candidate for State Senate to represent the Windham District, said many other public places in society consider it normal to have high-tech security — but not schools.

“Every airport that we go into we take our shoes off, we take our jackets off,” he said. “… In a courtroom you can be arrested for forgetting and leaving a pair of fingernail clippers in the pocket of your suitcoat. Postoffices have metal detectors.”

Coester added that government spending should be prioritized for protecting school children.

“You’ve got our own State Police that sent 6,000 pounds of ballistic vests to the Ukraine, and what, $650 million dollars that they sent to Ukraine for aid?” he said.

Kathi Tarrant, a Republican candidate from Waterbury running for the Washington-Chittenden House district, suggested that Vermonters are hearing a gun control agenda from multiple sources.

“The media’s sole purpose is to manipulate, with the intent of primarily dismantling the Constitution,” she said. “… Schools today are being used primarily for the propagandizing of youth.”

Anya Tynio, a Republican from West Charleston, is running for Vermont’s U.S. House seat. In a letter read on her behalf by Essex Junction resident Jim Sexton, she expressed support for armed school resource officers, and said she wants to investigate what’s causing youth to turn violent.

“In Washington, D.C., it will be a priority of mine to research and investigate the reason and motivations behind mass shootings,” she stated. “By doing this we can hopefully learn how to stop these tragic events before they begin.”

Sexton, the main organizer behind Friday’s event, reminded all those present that Gov. Phil Scott has responded to school shootings with gun control.

“Governor Scott signed three unconstitutional gun laws on April 11, 2018, on the Statehouse steps because he was afraid of a potential school shooting in Vermont, ironically doing nothing to protect Vermont’s students or schools,” he said.

The bills the governor signed that year included expanding background checks and implementing magazine limits, among other provisions.

Sexton discouraged any new gun control proposals, and instead called for security at school buildings.

“Maybe hiring armed and trained personnel, and placing metal detectors at school entrances and locked secure entrances, would be a good idea,” he said. “Scott should take some of the COVID money and actually do something with it for Vermont students and schools.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs and Guy Page

9 thoughts on “Conservative candidates call for armed protection in Vermont schools

  1. Let’s face the truth: The left doesn’t want to properly protect the schools because then they would have no support for seizing guns. They could be standing up in Chicago, NYC, Philadelphia, or other places demanding strict gun laws but of course that won’t work because they have them already.

  2. I am retired military and still go to the range to keep my skills as sharp as possible, and have had no problem with that maintenance. If I was asked to volunteer at a school say one day a week or whatever, I would accept that request and be on duty the next day, no questions about it.
    Regardless of all the hype and the spewing of non-sense from all those who hardly know which end the projectile exits from, a good guy with a gun will trump a bad guy with a gun any day of the week.
    I believe the left, being bankrupt for legitimate issues currently, had rather have an issue to continually debate, as opposed to fixing the problem. I am not alone in this assessment. Responsible authority has to come to terms with the need, and proactively fill those voids to cover the needs FULLY, not just a little bit here and there around the edges. The latter is the path we have been accustomed to taking; it does not nor will it cover all the bases. Our greatest and most precious segment of humanity, deserves much better, and nothing less than perfection.

  3. These ideas are all nonsense. We know how to identify kids that will be or could be shooters. The need is to make sure they have no firearms or are put in an institution where they can do no harm. Stop politicking with feel good BS.

  4. I cannot imagine what the harm would be having a uniformed officer, veteran or other professional protector in a school with the children…imagine they might grow up to want to be one, and/or will have a positive experience/relationship with law enforcement……dearly lacking in society today

    • well how about the cop raping and molesting the kids how about the cops beating and injuring our kids… if you want you kid in a prison put them in one…

  5. I am a 71-year-old Vermonter, in my entire life I have only been to the state house three
    times and it all revolved around ” Gun Issues ” and the nonsense that was being spewed.

    From what I have seen our elected officials really don’t care about its citizens, it’s all agenda
    and they really don’t care about the children of the state, if they did, we would not be having
    the conversation again !! Looks like Gregory Thayer, is on the right path to curtail this barrage
    of violence in our schools

    Let’s see banks have guards, the state house has guards, and large businesses have security
    guards and are schools are wide-open……. how pathetic.

    Remember the old adage ” It’s Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel ” that’s our open schools with it’s
    gun-free zone policies and the crooks & crazies know it ……… wake up !!

    • Jay, in addition to your position add that teachers should be required to dress professionally. Males in jacket and tie, women in dresses. You wouldn’t know who was carrying and professional attire demands respect, something lacking in the schools.

      • There is no study I can find indicating that the requirement to ‘dress professionally’ has any effect on school shootings. And while I may agree with you on your choice of clothing, I caution about the flippant nature of your recommendation. There are all sorts of things ‘lacking in the schools’. But how about sticking with the matter at hand and not detracting from it.

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