LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Having armed guards at schools is an idea that has been tossed around for weeks now since the massacre at Sandy Hook. But on Thursday night, when it was officially put on the table to be considered by Little Rock schools, opinions couldn't have been any stronger.
"We just lost 20 babies and we don't want to lose anymore," said Dr. Sadie Mitchell, Superintendent for Little Rock elementary schools.
It was an intense board meeting Thursday night as school officials discussed ways to protect students. Everything from more surveillance cameras to better lighting was discussed, which everyone agreed on. Then came the topic of more armed security.
"If a mentally ill person walked into the school with a firearm the only way to stop that individual is to have someone else inside the school with a firearm to stop him," said Robert Jones, Security Director for the district.
High schools and middle schools currently have armed security, but elementary schools don't.
"If the secondary high school kids are good enough then our elementary people certainly are," said Dr. Mitchell.
One by one elementary school principals came up sternly recommending their school have an armed guard.
"Chicot is one of the schools that recommended a highly trained armed officer," said Shoutelle Richardson, former elementary school principle was one of them.
"Another line of defense," said Richardson. "It's another form of enhancing the security that we have," she said.
It was obvious that not every school official was on board with having armed guards at all school.
"I'm very much supportive of having a resource officers in our high and our middle schools," said Greg Adams, a district Board Member. "Our elementary schools, I feel like, are a different situation to me," he said.
District officials do agree, however, that as a result of the discussion there will be some kind of increased security.
"Just encourages us to continue to do the things that we're doing to be secure and enhance the security measures," said Richardson.
Board members will discuss these recommendations in a special meeting next week.