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Arkansas school arms teachers and administrators

Teacher training in an Arkansas high school this summer doesn't include just books ... it also includes guns. The Clarksville School District, which is just northwest of Little Rock, is holding training for teachers inside the high school to help them learn how to carry a weapon and respond to a school shooting, like the Newtown shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead in Connecticut last December.

An Associated Press story says that a little known Arkansas law allows for armed security guards to be on school campuses. So the school district is going to have 20 administrators and teachers trained and licensed as security guards. They will carry concealed guns throughout the school day, but are being told to respond only in the event of a shooting in the school. 

According to the article, the teachers are drilling this summer using "airsoft" pellet guns, while students are participating as "victims," wearing protective facemasks and jackets. The article says "using students as actors helps trainers re-create the environment that teachers and staff would face in a typical school shooting" and adds that the students who took part are children of the staff being trained.

The idea was introduced by the National Rifle Association after Newtown, but even conservative states found that there were legal roadblocks to putting guns in schools, according to the AP. A shooting in Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County on the first day of school injured one student.

The Arkansas department of education doesn't like the idea, but is not making plans to try to stop it.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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