Common Sense: NC Counties Planning Armed Security For Schools

HENDERSON COUNTY – While the gun control narrative continues to be spun by the Left in response to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, counties in the Old North State are taking a more proactive and common sense approach to safeguarding children in their schools: hiring armed security.

“Henderson County leaders announced Thursday their plan to hire people with law enforcement or military backgrounds to serve as “highly trained” armed personnel at all 23 schools. Officials said they wanted to reassure the community about school safety following the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 people dead.

“Henderson County has always been a sleepy little town,” school board chairwoman Amy Lynn Holt said at a news conference. “We’ve not felt like we’re threatened here. Well, we have to start acting like we’re threatened.”

The Henderson County school system, located near Asheville, has 14,000 students.”

This may unnerve some Democratic lawmakers like Rep. Grier Martin, who just this week chastised those suggesting retired law enforcement of veterans could be employed to protect school children from active shooters.

Specifically, Martin said veterans “have no business taking on the responsibility of defending children from an active shooter,” and went on to suggest that armed security would endanger lives even more via bad aim.

Rhetoric like that might have something to do with the Democrats minority status on Jones Street.

Other counties are taking action as well, arranging for volunteer armed security provided by law enforcement or veterans.

Stanly County plans on utilizing the Volunteer School Safety Resource Officer Program, with its board voting unanimously to place armed security in their schools as early as this school year.

“Stanly County Sheriff George T. Burris said he plans to begin Stanly’s program this year if possible.

Beginning before the school year is out will allow the Sheriff’s Office to fine-tune the program before school resumes in August, Burris said.

The Volunteer School Safety Resource Officer Program stems from a law passed after the Sandy Hook school massacre. The program was begun at the state level in 2014 and updated in 2017, according to a release from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office.”

Johnston County is also aiming to provide its 36,000 students with armed security, as well as other investments to harden schools against attacks.

““I’ve got a seventh-grader in one of these schools,” said Superintendent David Renfrow. “Just like every other parent, we want to make sure every student is secure. They send their most prized possessions to our schools every day, and it’s our duty to protect them.”

Johnston wants to outfit every school with up-to-date cameras, controlled access points and key fob entries, among other upgrades. The changes are expected to be in place for the start of the new school year in August.”

Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page is driving an effort to have armed volunteers supplement existing resource officers.

“Page told RockinghamNow Tuesday afternoon that the program will not replace current SROs but would help supplement additional needs at schools that aren’t always covered by local law enforcement.

“We’d like to see the law enforcement presence,” said Page, who has served as sheriff since 1998 and is seeking re-election in 2018. “So when parents pull up, they can see a safety resource officer and they know that someone is out there looking out for their safety and the safety of the teachers that teach their kids.””

It is heartening that local county institutions are taking the issue of school security seriously, and not dithering on protecting vulnerable school children because if the Left’s fear mongering about guns. The only kind of ‘gun control’ warranted in these situations is placing good guys with guns in between our kids and aspiring evil doers.

As far as Henderson County, the armed security will go through the same vetting process as deputies, will undergo psychological testing and receive specialized training. Their goal is to have them in place by the start of the 2018-19 school year.

As we learned from the shooting in Maryland Tuesday, an armed protector can stop a shooting in it’s tracks and save lives. Something tells us that the counties taking these proactive measures will be the last to experience a tragedy at the hands of gunman targeting students.

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