- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Senate passed legislation Monday aimed at clearing the way for districts to use teachers, administrators and other staff as armed guards and eliminating the regulatory panel that had resisted similar efforts.

By a 33-1 vote, the Senate approved a bill abolishing the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and School Security Agencies. The measure, which now heads to the House, would put the board’s duties under the Arkansas State Police.

The move was in response to the board deciding in 2013 to allow 13 districts to continue for two years licenses classifying them as private security firms, but not accept any new applications.

Then-Attorney General Dustin McDaniel had warned the licensing law the districts used for arming staff was intended for private businesses.

Clarksville, a 2,500-student district in western Arkansas, had trained 22 teachers and staff to work as volunteer security guards carrying concealed handguns. The district had set up a 53-hour training program that included roleplaying drills of school shootings, with teachers and staff using “airsoft” pellet guns and students wearing protective facemasks and jackets.

Under the legislation, state police must set minimum training requirements that school employees would have to meet before they would be licensed as security guards for their district. The training requirements include active shooter training, trauma care and handgun safety.

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