Little Rock, AR-- An AP report detailing the Clarksville
School District's plan to arm 20 teachers and staff this year put the
small rural district in the national spotlight.
Superintendent Dr. David Hopkins told THV his office was flooded with
phone calls Tuesday morning from national media outlets looking for an
interview. The new plan provides firearms for more than 20 teachers and
staff members for the upcoming school year.
"I have had some negative feedback. I knew that we would, but as far as
how they compare, we are getting much more positives than we are
negative," said the superintendent. "I think as long as we can weather
the media storm, come October, it's gonna be smooth sailing."
Education officials in Little Rock have serious questions regarding
Clarksville's plan. Arkansas School Boards Association Attorney Kristen
Gould believes there could be some issues if police respond to a school
"There could be some really tragic and unintended consequences that the
good guy could be the guy that's taken out," she told THV.
The school is making use of a little-known Arkansas law that allows
licensed, armed security guards on campus. Teachers, administrator and
staff underwent 53 hours of training, and will be considered guards.
Clarksville, a community of 9,200 people about 100 miles northwest of
Little Rock, isn't known for having dangerous schools. But
Superintendent David Hopkins said he faced a flood of calls from parents
worried about safety after the attack last year at Sandy Hook
Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
State officials aren't blocking Clarksville's plan, but Arkansas
Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell is opposed to the idea of arming
teachers and staff. He prefers to hire law enforcement officers.
Source: KTHV, Associated Press