More than 20 teachers and administrators at schools in one small Southern town will be concealed-carrying firearms on campus this fall, after the school district in Clarksville, Arkansas, a family-friendly town of about 9,000 people, agreed to train and license certain employees as armed security guards.
In addition to completing a 53-hour training course, each licensed employee will be awarded a $1,100 stipend to buy a handgun and holster. The identities of most employees carrying the weapons isn’t being revealed, so that would-be criminals won’t hold an advantage – in the unlikely event a school is ever attacked. The district will, however, post signs at each school alerting students and visitors to the presence of armed guards.
The school district is also paying $50,000 for ammunition and for training at a privately-run academy.
“We’re not tying our money up in a guard 24/7 that we won’t have to have unless something happens,” explained Superintendent David Hopkins. “We’ve got these people who are already hired and using them in other areas. Hopefully we’ll never have to use them as a security guard.
“The plan we’ve been given in the past is `Well, lock your doors, turn off your lights and hope for the best,’” he added. “That’s not a plan.”