Teachers in Arkansas Are Carrying...

As teachers in the school district of Clarksville, Arkansas gear up for fall classes, they'll be creating lesson plans, deciding on textbooks and making sure they have their handguns on the ready. Sparked by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, 20 teachers and staff have volunteered for 53 hours of training to carry 9 mm handguns under a state law allowing licensed, armed security personnel on campus — the first time the law has been utilized, the Associated Press reports that no Arkansas school district had ever used the law to arm teachers on the job, although the state Department of Education says the Lake Hamilton School District in Garland County has for years kept several guns locked up in case of emergency.. Not everyone is keen on this plan. "Educators should be in the business of educating students, not carrying a weapon," says Donna Morey, former president of the Arkansas Education Association. The district is paying $50,000 for ammo and training

 

Under the new program, 20 volunteers have undergone 53 hours of training in time for fall classes and will be armed with 9mm handguns.

 

Participants in the program are given a one-time $1,100 stipend to purchase a handgun and holster. Hopkins says the district is paying about $50,000 for ammunition and for training at a private training facility.

 

Clarksville is a community of 9,200 people about 100 miles northwest of Little Rock.

 

The risk of a student accidentally getting shot or obtaining a gun outweighs any benefits, she says. "We just think educators should be in the business of educating students, not carrying a weapon," Morey says.

 

The district will post signs at each school about the armed guards, but the identities of faculty and staff carrying weapons will be kept secret.