“[The Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies] voted Wednesday to allow 13 school districts in Arkansas to continue using teachers, administrators and other staff as armed guards,” king5.com reports. The Board had withdrawn their seal of approval from Natural State educators after Attorney General Dustin McDaniel ruled that school officials couldn’t circumvent the Gun Free School Zones Act by becoming private dicks. On Hump Day, the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies revoked their revocation. For two more years; until the legislature can clear a less convoluted path to school carry. At the same time, the Board closed their doors to any more school employees looking to tool-up. Even so, we’re talking about a fair few numbers of armed educators who are now kinda sorta OK to carry in school . . .
Clarksville, a 2,500-student district in western Arkansas, had trained 22 teachers and staff this year to work as volunteer security guards carrying concealed handguns. Licenses for 14 of those trained had already been approved by the state . . .
The 53-hour training program for Clarksville included roleplaying drills of school shootings, with teachers and staff using “airsoft” pellet guns and students wearing protective facemasks and jackets.
Hopkins said the district spent about $70,000 for training and stipends for program participants to buy handguns.
After the hearing, he said he would move quickly to reinstate the program.
“From this point forward, the general public needs to assume our guards are armed at school,” he said.
The general public and, I’m thinking, psychotic killers looking for a soft target. Needless to say, msnbc.com reported the news with an eye to finding the Worst Person in the World. Turns out it’s Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson.
Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson (nephew of Asa Hutchinson, who pushed the National Rifle Association’s School Shield Task Force proposal to allow guns in schools) took part in “active shooter” simulation at a school. Hutchinson accidentally shot a police officer portraying a teacher. The officer was not harmed by Hutchinson’s rubber bullet-loaded pistol.
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “the experience gave Hutchinson some pause, but he still supports giving schools the authority to decide how best to secure their campuses.”
Hutchinson later told the New York Daily News, “The tough part is when law enforcement does arrives, it’s hard to distinguish between the good guys with guns and the bad guys with guns. There were shots in the hallway, there’s a man shooting into the classroom, and I shot that person.”
Grist for the gun-grabbers’ mill. And? The Natural State’s educators seems ready, willing and (more or less) able to take responsibility for their students’ safety, regardless of politicians who put roadblocks in the way of armed defense.