CLARKSVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - For the first time this year, guns are on the Clarksville School Campus. A state board voted Wednesday to allow the district to continue using staff as armed guards for school safety.
"We were ready to implement the program, and as soon as we got the confirmation from that board that our commissions were reinstated, then we started our security operation at that point," said Superintendent David Hopkins.
That confirmation came on Wednesday, making Thursday the first day Clarksville staff was able to carry guns on campus.
"I truly, I back them up on this decision. I trust them," said Donna Strachan, a mother of three and substitute teacher for the Clarksville School District. "We're in a very violent and crazy world, and I trust dropping my children off somewhere where their school administrators have their best interest at heart."
Superintendent Hopkins said the district has received overwhelming support; however, there are parents who are worried about the harm guns can do if put in the wrong hands.
"My husband's cousin, he was shot in the neck. He's completely paralyzed," said Edith Magdaleno. "He can't move, so because of the harm that it does, that's why we're against it."
Although doors are locked and security cameras are all around the building, some Clarksville parents believe that still isn't enough to stop a gunman.
"Gun men can shoot through the windows. You know what I mean? They're not bulletproof," added Angela Padgett.
The topic will likely continue to have its supporters and opponents, but Superintendent Hopkins believes his staff has been thoroughly trained, and this is a safe plan.
"We went through Arkansas law enforcement trainers, and so we have 53 hours of firearms training for all of our staff," he explained.