Communities in Texas and Kentucky are grieving after two school shootings that took place earlier this week. A local school district says it made the decision to arm faculty in the hopes of preventing a similar tragedy years ago.
The Clarksville school district adopted a policy allowing trained teachers and faculty to carry concealed handguns five years ago, after the Sandyhook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut claimed the lives of 26 people.
The program, called the Commssioned School Security Officers – is run through the Arkansas State Police. All of the selected officers are part of the Emergency Response Team, or ERT.
They must complete 60 hours of initial training and an additional 25 hours every year.
Jim Krohn is a social studies teacher at Clarksville Junior High, he volunteered to be one of the officers.
Krohn, who has been an educator with Clarksville Public Schools for the last 20 years, says the program can be a good deterrent if it is implemented properly.
“If we didn’t do this and somebody came into this building or any of our school buildings and harmed children, it would be hard to go to sleep that night thinking what else could I have done and at least we’ve done what we think is the best thing to protect the children of Clarksville school district,” Krohn explained.
Superintendent David Hopkins did not want to disclose how many officers the district has but did say they are present in all five of the school district’s buildings.