Faulkner County school district one step closer to arming administrators

FAULKNER COUNTY (KATV) - The idea of armed administrators is one step closer to becoming reality for one Faulkner County school district.

In a school board meeting Thursday evening members decided to let residents voice their opinions.

"It's not a safe world we live in. It's too unpredictable," said Don Gardner. "You can't always know exactly what's around the corner. Who's going to walk through the door and who's ready to take care of that."

In an age where many say school shootings aren't a matter of if but when, parents like Don Gardner say armed personnel is the best solution. He attended Thursday's special meeting where the Mt. Vernon-Enola School Board once again discussed the idea of deputizing school personnel, this time a little more seriously.

"We can't afford not to look at it," said Larry Walter, the district's superintendent. "Because we do have some positive comments being made to the school board, myself and the sheriff, so we're going to move forward."

In the 8-minute meeting board members decided to send out a survey with the idea to parents and students in grades seven through twelve asking them to simply answer "yes" or "no".

"I'm for walking instead of running and this is not something we're trying to slip in on the public we want public input," said Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock.

The decision comes after officials received a standing ovation at an open house meeting last week in support of the idea.

"The applause was just overwhelming, that's encouraging to me. I'm for the kids being safe," said Shock.

It's a proposal being presented in a rural school district with no major incidents but Gardner says armed administrators will keep it that way.

"The deterrent factor that's the key," he said. "If a bad guy knows there's someone that can shoot back, they'll pick somewhere else to go."

These surveys will be mailed out in the coming days. If the district finds that most parents and students support the proposal they will then have a town hall meeting.

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