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    Little Rock School District asking parents if they support armed guards at school

    7:21 PM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Putting armed guards in schools has been a much-discussed topic since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

    After the mass shooting, which killed 26 people including 20 children, the National Rifle Association announced its support for having armed officers in every school in the country.

    Last week, President Barack Obama endorsed a plan that would put armed guards in schools that want them. This week, Little Rock School District is trying to gather opinions from parents on whether they would like to have armed guards at their school.

    Parents with children at elementary schools in the city said their children were sent home with surveys this week. The survey asked if parents support the idea.

    Robert Jones is the Security Director for the District.

    "The goal as far as the armed security officers is to have an armed security officer in all of our installations where we do not have police officers working," Jones said.

    Currently there are 18 police officers in the high schools and middle schools in Little Rock Schools.

    The district would be considering at least 31 armed guards divided amongst the elementary schools.

    "There is a cost of approximately $1,500 to start the program to train it and buy the weapon and then it drops dramatically to about $300 a year for the retraining and the certification," Jones added. 

    On Wednesday afternoon, parents picking up their kids at King Magnet Elementary weighed in on the topic.

    "I think that's an excellent idea as far as placing armed guards in the schools. And mainly the elementary schools and the junior high schools, I think that would be a great idea," said Jermaine Johnson. 

    Monica Simpson is the mother of a fourth grader and agrees, but adds the school already has precautions in place.

    "Anyone that enters the school does have to come through the front. So they do have to pass the principal, the secretary and the registrar to get in, so I think they've already taken precaution," Simpson said.

    Security Director Jones says it will take at least three months from the time the school board approves the measure for the guards to be trained and in place.

    .PDF of survey: http://on.kthv.com/VskRsO

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