Legislators overwhelmingly support arming school administrators
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - The idea of guns in school took the spotlight again as two superintendents lead the fight to arm administrators in a discussion at the state capital Wednesday afternoon.
Superintendents of the Lake Hamilton and Clarksville School Districts made their case to lawmakers to allow schools to meet potential shooters with equal force. It was simply a discussion but how lawmakers responded spoke volumes.
More than a week after a shooting at a Georgia elementary school made national headlines, the issue of guns in school once again took center stage here at home.
"If a child is not safe, a child that's murdered cannot learn," said Pastor Perry Black, of Family Church of Bryant.
Today pastor black, who's the director of a private Christian school with armed administrators, came out and supported two others who'd like to do the same.
"When I look at the front door there is nothing I can do, we're utterly defenseless and helpless," said Dr. David Hopkins, Superintendent, Clarksville School District.
The superintendents of the Clarksville and Lake Hamilton School Districts passionately discussed their plan to arm school administrators, something Attorney General Dustin McDaniel found illegal which led to the programs being suspended.
"What do you do when that guy comes through your front door?" said Dr. Hopkins "I keep getting pointed in the direction of you have got to have equal force to meet him."
"Lake Hamilton for the last 20 years we have had a prudent deterrent that has been successful for two decades," said Lake Hamilton Superintendent Steve Anderson.
But the presentations were met with anything but opposition.
"You can't argue with twenty years of hard work and collecting data and it's working and not say that we shouldn't continue doing that," said State Senator Eddie Joe Williams.
Lawmakers overwhelmingly agreed with the superintendents, making the fight for legalization of armed personnel much easier. But Pastor Black says, legal or not, school officials will do what they can to keep students safe.
"I believe that some of the superintendents and administrators will be armed anyway," he said.
The only legislator that spoke out against this proposal was Senator Joyce Elliott of Little Rock.