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Another Long Island school district is hiring armed guards, but not everyone in Farmingdale is on board

Farmingdale is the latest Long Island school district hiring armed guards
Farmingdale is the latest Long Island school district hiring armed guards 01:44

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Farmingdale is joining the list of Long Island school districts with armed guards on patrol, but teachers and parents are conflicted on whether they are actually a deterrent. 

At least 20 of Long Island's 125 school districts now have or plan to hire armed security guards, which could cost $1 million per year. 

Some parents support armed guards, some don't

Sam and Nick Ziegler, who have four children in Farmingdale, are on board with the district's plan to hire armed guards. 

"I feel safer with my children knowing that there's an armed guard at the school. God forbid anything should happen," said Sam Ziegler.   

"I think there's not enough money you can spend on the safety of students," said Nick Ziegler. 

Samuel Rodriguez, whose children attend middle school in the village, has concerns. 

"A guard in front of the school with a gun? I am anti-guns," said Rodriguez. 

Farmingdale mayor hopes "it's a deterrent" 

Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said the decision to hire armed guards has the community's support. 

"We hope it's a deterrent," Ekstrand said, "to have qualified armed guards there to defend the students." 

But some teachers, parents and students told CBS New York they disagree on the effectiveness of armed guards and wonder if resources would be better spent on mental health. 

Recently, students debated the issue at the Suffolk County Legislature.   

"There needs to be early intervention," one of the students said.     

"A sad reality" 

South Huntington was one of the first Long Island school districts to hire armed guards after school shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TexasMarjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

"They really don't see them, but they are here," said South Huntington Superintendent Vito D'Elia. 

The Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association called hiring armed guards a very localized, but painful decision. 

"This is definitely a sad reality that we're having conversations and schools are having to make investments in hardening their campuses," said Robert Vecchio, executive director of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association. 

As the popularity of armed guards rises on Long Island, so does the controversy. 

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