GREENBRIER, Ark — Greenbrier is putting student safety top of mind this year, for the first time in the district’s history it is bringing armed school resource officers to its elementary campuses following the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
Greenbrier Superintendent of Public Schools, Scott Spainhour says after the tragedy in Uvalde they knew they needed to do more to protect kids.
“We try really hard to follow the recommendations of the Arkansas Safety Commission, the Governors panel that he has put together. They recommended armed presence whenever kids are in school,” said Spainhour.
He says they hired armed school resource officers at Springhill and Wooster Elementary, although the district has four elementary schools Spainhour adds they chose these two schools to start off with because of the distance they are from law enforcement.
“[Police] Response times are a little bit slower out here as opposed to the schools in town.” Spainhour adds “if something were to happen you know they’re kind of isolated out here and that always bothered me.”
Rather it’s in the classroom, outside, or in the hallways, the district hopes the new hires will keep the kids protected
“Job one is absolutely the safety and security of kids and staff on campus.” Spainhour goes on to say SRO’s responsibility includes serving “as mentors, unofficial counselors, they will work on our safety plans they may teach a class or two character education.”
He says all of their schools already have cameras and monitored access doors already in place. But a patrol car in the parking lot is aimed at making others aware.
“When you pull up and see a police car sitting in front of your school it makes you think twice,” said Spainhour.
Faulkner County Deputy Adam Croy stepped into another chance to protect those he loves as he will be stationed as an SRO at Springhill, he says he hopes to help kids physically and mentally.
“If I am able to reach one kid I feel like that’s going to be a success out of this job if I know that they know that I am going to be here for them,” said Croy.
Spainhour says although they hired two new armed school resource officers at Springhill and Wooster, which puts the district at a total of 4 SROs. They are looking to hire 3 more armed SROs, one going to their middle school and the other TWO would be for the remaining elementary schools.