Opinion

School to arm 20 teachers; provide SWAT-style training

An Arkansas high school is taking its duty to protect children to a new level.

When Clarksville High School opens Aug. 19 about 100 miles northwest of Little Rock, 20 teachers will be armed with the weapons and training to deal with what used to be unthinkable: an armed attack on the school and its students.

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A Clarksville High School vice principal takes armed training to deal with an “active shooter” at the school in Clarksville, Ark.

“We hope nothing like this ever occurs,” Clarkskville School District Superintendent David Hopkins told a local ABC affiliate during a training day at the school earlier this  month. “When you look at fires, tornado, we don’t want these to occur either, but we train for those.”

And the training is pretty intense, said Jon Hodoway, a trainer with Nighthawk Custum Training Academy.

“Most police officers will never get this level of training unless they’re in some type of advanced group, such as SWAT,” he told the station.

Teachers will get a stipend to purchase a handgun and holster, and the district is spending $50,000 for training and ammunition, according to news reports.

Those same reports include the usual caterwauling from the usual suspects – the Arkansas Education Association is against the idea of arming educators, as are teachers union chapters elsewhere.

But to Hopkins, it just makes sense.

When the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack occurred in December, he said, the teachers’ sole recourse was  to lock the classroom door and hope for the best. Twenty children and six adults were murdered that day.

After the Sandy Hook massacre, a movement started with the support of the National Rifle Association to arm teacher in schools throughout the country.  School districts in other states, such as Texas, have already adopted such policies, but Clarksville is the first school district in Arkansas to do so.

Hopkins said it’s a way to avoid a repeat of Newton on his watch.

“We’re victims until someone can get here to help us,” Hopkins said. “We don’t want to be victims anymore.”

Update: School district fighting Dems for right to arm teachers

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