Teachers armed to defend against shooters
01 August 2013, 08:32
Washington - About 20 teachers and staff in an Arkansas school district will be armed with handguns and trained to respond to school shooters, according to media reports.
In August, just ahead of the new school year, school staff will be armed on campus with 9mm handguns after undergoing 53 hours of training by Nighthawk Custom Training Academy, a private training facility in north-west Arkansas.
Staff will receive ongoing training throughout the school year.
Cheyne Dougan, assistant principal at Clarksville High School, said arming staff will allow time to hold off any gunmen until police arrive.
Clarksville School District took advantage of a state law that allows licensed armed security guards on campus. It comes after a school shooting last December in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six teachers were killed, prompted the law.
The policy has raised mix reactions in Clarksville, located about 160km north-west of Little Rock, Arkansas. One parent has taken her son out of his school because of the new armed staff policy.
At least six US states already have armed guards in schools: Ohio, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Washington.
Clarksville School District has five schools and about 2 400 students, so there are roughly four armed staff members per school and about one per 100 students, according to the Arkansas Times.
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