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LRSD considers armed guards on school campuses

Armed guards could be on the way to Little Rock schools. Thursday night, school board members discussed the possibility of giving guards weapons.
LITTLE ROCK, AR-- Armed guards could be on the way to Little Rock schools. Thursday night, school board members discussed the possibility of giving guards weapons.

The issue surfaced after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut that killed 20 children.

"Typically, what you find is people who want to do harm look for the least resistance and if they know there is a potential for resistance, it may curtail the thought process of them choosing our school," said Mabelvale Elementary School Principal Darian Smith.

Right now, LRSD employs 119 unarmed guards and 18 with weapons.

If the proposal passes, guards will be required to undergo weapons training. The board discussed the issue for about an hour and a half.

"We want to say people are watching us every single day. If you don't believe, just last night one of our elementary custodians was robbed while trying to empty the trash at the dumpster," said Associate Superintendent Sadie Mitchell.

No decision will be made right now. But the chief security officer sent a strong message to the board.

"I am convinced that if a mentally ill individual is inside a school with a firearm, the only way to stop that individual is to have someone in that school with a firearm to stop him," said security director Bobby Jones.

Leaders also discussed the possibility of installing magnetic doors and panic buttons.




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