Conn. official: Don't make schools armed fortresses

A sign welcomes Sandy Hook Elementary schoolchildren on their first day of classes near the former Chalk School in Monroe, Conn., Jan. 3, 2013. AP Photo

HARTFORD, Conn. A legislative working group reviewing school security after the deadly Newtown shooting is being urged not to turn Connecticut's schools into armed fortresses.

Stefan Pryor, the state's education commissioner, told the panel on Friday that a school environment needs to be warm and inviting, as well as safe and secure. He said there are security changes that can be made invisibly in schools, such as more video surveillance.

Friday's public hearing marked the first of four hearings behind held by a legislative task force on gun violence and children's safety.

Lawmakers were also urged to consider funding more uniformed, armed school resource officers in Connecticut schools. An association of school principals said it favors having those trained police officers rather than armed guards or arming teachers and principals.

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