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Armed Administrators Allowed in Alabama Schools

Armed Administrators Allowed in Alabama Schools
(Kostyantin Pankin/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 01 June 2018 09:33 AM

Armed administrators will be allowed in Alabama schools starting in the upcoming school year in the fall after state officials announced a program where they can take part in firearms training, AL.com reported.

Gov. Kay Ivey, state superintendent Eric Mackey, and law enforcement secretary Hal Taylor announced the Alabama Sentry Program on Wednesday. It will allow some administrators to receive training and keep their weapons stored on campus.

Schools without a resource officer will be allowed to participate in the program, according to a statement from Ivey's office. Administrators must successfully complete firearms training created by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to bring a weapon to school, the statement said.

"… Until we have a concrete plan to increase the number of (school resource officers), we must provide a way for schools to protect their students in the upcoming school year," Ivey said in a statement. "I have created the Alabama Sentry Program to provide additional security measures for our children, and to utilize the current summer break to train those who volunteer to be a sentry.

"The Alabama Sentry plan is a reasonable and measured approach to provide an additional tool for schools without a resource officer. With the unfortunate continued occurrence of school violence across our country, we cannot afford to wait until the next legislative session," the statement continued.

According to AL.com, the participants also will need to be approved by the local superintendent, local school board and county sheriff; must have a concealed carry permit and be approved as a reserve deputy sheriff; and pass drug screenings, a mental health evaluation, and stress test.

Sally Smith, executive director of the Alabama Association of School Boards, told AL.com that while trained police officers are the best option, she called new program "reasonable."

"School boards overwhelmingly view trained SROs as the optimal first line of defense against school violence and do not believe arming school personnel is a long-term solution," Smith told AL.com.

"However, we recognize the governor's desire to move quickly to ensure the safety of Alabama's schoolchildren. The Alabama Sentry program appears to be a reasonable, interim solution with some sensible safeguards until the legislature can address this issue and identify a long-term plan to fund SROs."

AL.com wrote that Ivey rejected earlier legislation to arm school teachers, which has been supported by President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, according to The Washington Post.

In Florida, legislators recently approved a bill that allows public school staff members, including counselors and coaches, to become "marshals," but full-time teachers would not be eligible to be trained and armed, the Post said.

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Alabama school administrators will be allowed to be armed at schools after taking part in firearms training as part of a program state officials announced for the coming school year.
armed, administrators, alabama, schools
Friday, 01 June 2018 09:33 AM
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