Transcript: Statement by Mark Mattioli, Sandy Hook victim’s father, supporting the NRA’s plan to arm teachers

Transcript of remarks by Mark Mattioli, father of James Mattioli who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in support of the NRA-funded National School Shield Task Force’s recommendations to arm teachers and school personnel at a press briefing on April 2, 2013:

Hi. Good morning.

Really, I just want to take a minute and applaud the task force and Mr. [Asa] Hutchinson and the NRA for coming up and spending the time and resources on putting a program like this together.

I think it’s important that everybody out there recognize the importance – you know, as parents, we send our kids off to school and there are certain expectations and obviously in Sandy Hook those expectations weren’t met.

This is a comprehensive program. I applaud everyone for their input.

I also want to say that I think politics need to be sort of set aside here and I hope this doesn’t, you know, lead to name-calling but rather this is recommendations for solutions – real solutions that will make our kids safer and that’s what we need.

You need to look at that appendix and you need to do something with it because I read a report from 2002 that had some great input from the Secret Service and Department of Education, and my question is what was done at the federal, state, and local level out of that report to make Newtown safer, to make your town safer? So I’m putting it on you, I’m putting it on the experts out there to do something with these recommendations, to implement solutions so people don’t have to go through what I’m going through.

I was on Google this morning and I Googled “school shootings” and it showed nine school shootings since Newtown. So I don’t know if, you know, everybody got the press that we did because obviously off the bell curve, if you will, with respect to the impact.

But I just applaud you for doing this and I think it’s important. If you look at what took place in Sandy Hook, mental health is a huge component of that.

We need to focus resources, attention, research – that needs a big component of this.

We need the kids to be safe and from what I’ve learned through school resource officer programs is they allow for a positive interaction with the law enforcement professional. And it – especially an elementary, you get them in at that level and they’ll start sharing. That’s one of the main findings was – the 71% – that people were bullied, people knew about what people had in mind and they didn’t report it to somebody. We need to encourage them to report it to somebody who can do something with it and prevent this going forward. Thank you.


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