Teachers and staff at Clarksville High School in Arkansas have undergone 53 hours of intensive weapons training in recent weeks, and they stand ready for school doors to open this fall — locked and loaded, ready to fend off the type of disaster that rocked a Connecticut community in December and left 20 children dead.
"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 said, in The Associated Press. But school shootings continued to take place around the nation. And in response, the district decided, he said, "That's not a plan."
So come fall, at Clarksville, Assistant Principal Cheyne Dougan will be packing a 9 mm handgun, AP reported. And more than 20 other teachers, administrators and school staffers will be similarly armed.
Arkansas law lets schools employ licensed, armed security guards — and the teachers and staffers met that criteria, after they took the 53 hours of required gun training, AP reported.
"We're not tying our money up in a guard 24/7 that we won't have to have unless something happens," said Mr. Hopkins, in the AP reported. "We've got these people who are already hired and using them in other areas. Hopefully, we'll never have to use them as a security guard."
Clarksville has a population of about 9,200 and is located 100 miles outside Little Rock.
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