Concerned about the ongoing threat of mass shootings, one North Carolina county is putting high-powered AR-15 rifles at every school for the upcoming school year—the same weapon used in several mass killings in recent years.
Six schools in Madison County, a rural area north of Asheville, will now have assault rifles stored on campus in gun safes, along with room hacks. Schools will also deploy a Police School Resource Officer (SRO) indoors for the upcoming school year, and install a panic button system.
Local officials said the failed police response to the Ovaldi Collegiate School shooting in Texas inspired them to take additional action
“I hate that we’ve come to a place in our nation where I have to put a safe in our schools, lock that safe for my deputies so they can get the AR-15. But, we can shut up stop it and say it won’t happen in Madison County, but we never know,” Sheriff Paddy Harwood He told the Asheville Citizen-Times. “I want the parents of Madison County to know that we will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our children in this school system. If my parents, as a whole, wanted me to stand at that door with this augmented reality strapped to that officer’s neck, I would do whatever my parents as a whole wanted to keep our children safe.” .
Sharif announced the initiative in June.
“Every day you turn on the TV and someone shoots, someone gets stabbed, someone gets killed, someone gets raped,” he said on an accompanying Facebook page. video. “We live in western North Carolina, which is a rural county, but we have to be prepared even in our rural counties for an enemy when they’re trying to get in and destroy our children.”
Some locals Help finance The program is new, but not everyone is satisfied with the decision to put rifles in schools.
“This is called school hardening,” Professor Dorothy Espelge, who teaches education at the University of North Carolina WLOS . said. “What will happen is that we will have accidents with these weapons. The mere presence of an SRO increases violence in schools.”
as such independent she has mentionedSchool districts across the country have called for more better-armed police on campuses in the wake of Ovaldi, even though research suggests armed officers do nothing to stop school shootings and often target students of color for violence and arrest.
“This is one of the potentially disappointing takeaways and very important fast food, given that that is some of the rationale for why so many schools are using policing,” said Professor F Chris Curran, director of the Center for Education Policy Research at the University of Florida. independent. “In some ways, it resonates with what we know from the anecdotal. You can look at Parkland here in Florida. They had an SRO in school and it didn’t deter the offender and it didn’t effectively prevent the offender from taking so many lives.”
However, states across the country are putting more police in schools, as well as arming teachers.
At least 29 states allow people other than police to carry guns on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In Ohio, a new law allows teachers to carry a gun in less than 24 hours of training, a provision that some law enforcement groups have criticized.
“This, to us, is just outrageous,” said Michael Weinman, director of government affairs for the Ohio Fraternal Police, the state’s largest law enforcement organization, Tell New York times in July.
In the aftermath of the 2018 Parkland shootings in Florida, the state required armed personnel to be present in all schoolyards, a group that could include law enforcement or school staff.
In Texas, at least a third of schools are active in a security initiative that allows employees to be armed guards.