Friday, January 18, 2013

Little Rock School District closes down discussion on school guards

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 6:40 AM

TAKEN DOWN: LRSD Facebook post.
  • TAKEN DOWN: LRSD Facebook post.
Interesting. A reader told me last night about a new discussion on the Little Rock School District Facebook page about Superintendent Morris Holmes' proposal to put an armed security guard (not police officer) in every district school not already served by one of 18 armed police officers and to add 10 guards to the district's overall security force.

A vigorous discussion ensued, some of which is shown in screen shots here, before the post was removed. Wonder why.

Reactions spanned the spectrum —pro, con, concerns about cost, concerns about the caliber of person who'd be carrying a gun on a $23,000-a-year job.

It seems a slippery slope to me. Where does it end? Inevitably, events will prompt an escalating discussion. How many guns and guards are enough? Is a single guard with a handgun really enough to guard against the potential of an assault with a semi-automatic weapon equipped with a huge ammo magazine? Don't we need more guards and more powerful weapons?

I credit School Board member Greg Adams for broaching the sensitive questions in the face of understandable desires to do something, anything, in response to the Connecticut slaughter. He was quoted in the Democrat-Gazette:

“It concerns me that if we focus on something that is so unusual and so rare that we may take our eyes off of other areas,” he said, adding that students are more likely to die from suicide or drowning than from a school shooting.

Adams asked for research on the use of guards in elementary school settings.

My correspondent wondered:

I would be interested to know how many current employees would have to be fired, or how many programs would have to be cut, to pay for those new employees.

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