In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, the NRA proposed putting armed guards in schools to increase safety. Now, one town in Arkansas is doing just that—but with school staff rather than professional security guards.
With 53 hours of training under their belts, more than 20 administrators, teachers and school employees in Clarksville, Ark., will head back to school this August packing a 9mm handgun, AP reports.
“The plan we’ve been given in the past is ‘Well, lock your doors, turn off your lights and hope for the best,'” Superintendent David Hopkins told AP. But as deadly incidents continued to happen in schools, he explained, the district decided, “That’s not a plan.”
Although most proposals to put armed guards in schools after Newtown went nowhere thanks to “resistance from educators or warnings from insurance companies that schools would face higher premiums,” Arkansas already had a law on the books that allows “licensed, armed security guards on campus,” according to AP. The extensive training school staffers in Clarksville received allows them to be considered guards.
Students will not know which faculty and staff will be carrying weapons, although signs will be posted at each school about the armed guards—already a greater deterrent than declaring schools as ‘gun-free zones’.