Arkansas Armed Teachers Idea Shot Down By Attorney General

Arkansas armed teacher plans have been shot down by Dustin McDaniel, the state’s attorney general, according to a Friday report from The Associated Press via USA Today.

The plan, championed by Clarksville School District superintendent David Hopkins, would have armed 20 teachers and staff with 9mm handguns. Identities of the teachers would have (obviously) been kept secret. The district was relying on an obscure state law meant for licensing private security agencies.

An Arkansas lawmaker requested that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel weigh in on the matter, and this is what McDaniel had to say, from the actual opinion: “Simply put, the code in my opinion does not authorize either licensing a school district as a guard company or classifying it as a private business authorized to employ its own teachers as armed guards.”

According to KARK-TV, the would-be Arkansas armed teachers underwent 53 hours of training over the summer in anticipation of implementing the program for the fall semester.

Hopkins admitted that the move was in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut last December. “We lock the door, and we hide and hope for the best. Well that’s not a plan,” he said in comments to KARK.

The Inquisitr first reported on the move to arm teachers on July 30. At that time, it was revealed that teachers participating in the program received a $1,100 stipend to purchase a weapon.

The school district planned to pay about $50,000 for ammunition and training.

Called the Nighthawk Training Course, the program reportedly put teachers through real-world simulations of what to do in the event of a shooting, according to assistant principal Cheyne Dougan, who completed the training.

Dougan said: “There’s pressure on you, because you’re shooting real bullets if this actually happened. I was nervous to start, but once it started and I was going through what they had taught us, it just took over.”

While Clarksville has received notoriety for the plan, they’re not the only school district to weigh arming teachers as a viable emergency response option.

A bit more on the story here:

Earlier this month, we told you about the Ohio district of Newcomerstown Exempted Village, which has decided to allow guns on school property for the 2013-2014 School Year.

While it’s not an actual plan to arm teachers, it would have opened the door for an armed teacher on the premises during school hours.

Do you agree or disagree with arming teachers, and what do you think of McDaniel’s decision to shoot down the Arkansas armed teachers plan?

[Image via ShutterStock]

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