Clarksville schools armed for the new year UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Clarksville schools armed for the new year UPDATE

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:30 AM

I've been meaning to ask:

ARMED: Some staff members at Clarksville High School will carry weapons now.
  • ARMED: Some staff members at Clarksville High School will carry weapons now.
What about arming faculty in Arkansas schools, elementary through high school? Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell favors, where guns are used in campus, to have them in the hands of regular law enforcement officers. But schools may arm staff if they complete courses sufficient for private security guards to carry arms at work.

Several districts have plans to take advantage of this option. But the Clarksville School District seems to be leading the way. More than 20 staff members will carry weapons in the next school year. The 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.

This summary from the AP quotes the district leader as being motivated by parents' concerns following the Connecticut school shootings. Clarksville isn't known as a school troublespot.

WALTHER PPS: Chosen for Clarksville schools.
  • WALTHER PPS: Chosen for Clarksville schools.
UPDATE: I spoke with Superintendent David Hopkins this morning about some of the nuts and bolts.

The district isn't being specific about the precise number of people trained and where they are assigned for security reasons, he said. The district paid $50,000 to Nighthawk Custom Training of Bentonville to train the armed staff members. The training included 53 hours of instruction, well beyond the 10 required for private certified security guards. He said training will continue through the year and with annual summer refreshers.

The district provided an $1,100 stipend to each participating staff member, more than enough to purchase 9-millimeter pistols provided at a group price by the Walther Arms company in Fort Smith (the PPS model — touted by the company as "slim, light and comfortable to wear all day long" — and also the PPQ), holsters and ammunition. The district has also provided each staffer with 50 rounds of practice ammo and a couple of boxes of "carry" ammo. The pistols have 7- to 8-round stacked magazines, Hopkins said. Larger magazines would have required larger weapons and he said the district wanted the weapons small enough to be concealed. He said the aim is for the weapons to be concealed, such as by elastic holsters worn under shirts or in bras or in ankle holsters, he said. "It's not a quick draw, but that's not what we're going for," Hopkins said.

Hopkins said large signs will be posted on the schools noting the premises are protected by armed staff. He said the addition of armed staff was efficient, with a cost of roughly $50,000, about enough to hire one full-time armed resource officer. The district currently employs one.

"It's very safe what we're doing," he said. "There are not going to be any accidental discharges. The only time they will access weapons is in the event of an active shooter. We just pray that will never happen."

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (47)

Showing 1-47 of 47

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-47 of 47

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Study: Voter ID law likely helped Trump

    More evidence in the Washington Post that voter ID laws suppress votes, particularly among groups likely to vote Democratic. And the evidence is from Wisconsin, where a microscopic victory gave Donald Trump that state's electoral votes.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • Two dead in Camden plane crash

    Two men were killed in a private plane crash last night at the Camden Airport. Both were National Guardsmen but were not on military duty at the time.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • Charter school critic praises tough assessment of LR school progress since 1957

    Diane Ravitch, a powerful voice against the billionaires trying to replace an egalitarian public education system with a fractured system of winners and losers segregated by race and income in private or privately operated schools, is giving a shoutout to Barclay Key of Little Rock for his review of Little Rock 60 years after the school crisis.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation