A county in North Carolina is taking precautions in the hopes that the tragedy that unfolded in a school in Uvalde, Texas, will not occur in any of their institutions of higher learning.
In Madison County, North Carolina, the new school year will come equipped with what are being referred to as the county sheriff's increased safety features. What exactly are those characteristics? AR-15 rifles.
According to an interview conducted by the Asheville Citizen-Times with Sheriff Buddy Harwood, who stated that the new regulation for this school year comes as a result of the shooting that occurred at the Uvalde school and resulted in the deaths of 19 students and two teachers, the new measure was implemented.
Those cops were in that facility for such a long time, and the culprit was able to break into that building and hurt or murder such a large number of children. In the interview, Harwood stated, I simply want to ensure that my deputies are ready in the case that it happens.
The school district that encompasses the county has a total of six schools, three of which are classified as primary schools. According to Harwood, each of the six will have access to an AR-15, which will be managed by school resource officers who have been participating in training at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
As part of the plan for the schools' safety and security this school year, social workers and school counselors have also been recruited to the staff.
In addition to the rifle, the sheriff has stated that there will also be a safe in each school that is stocked with more breaching tools and other magazines that contain ammo. The team from Harwood has conferred with members of the emergency services as well as other law enforcement and security professionals.
In the event that it becomes necessary, we will have the equipment necessary to break down that door. Harwood stated, I do not want to be forced to run back out to the car in order to grab an AR because that will cause me to lose time. I really hope that we won't ever have to use it, but I still want my people to be as equipped as they possibly can be.
In addition, each institution of higher learning will be furnished with an alarm button system that is linked to a central monitoring location.
Will Hoffman now serves as the superintendent of schools for the county. He stated that local law enforcement and school authorities have held frequent meetings to discuss all of the new safety measures that have been implemented. Additionally, it has been confirmed to Hoffman that law enforcement officials are able to view footage from school surveillance cameras.
The sheriff of North Carolina admitted that he despises the fact that the United States has reached a point where AR-15s need to be maintained in his classrooms, but he has come to the conclusion that it is vital to help keep children alive
We can put a stop to it and declare that it won't ever happen in Madison County, but the truth is that we don't know for sure. I want the parents of Madison County to be aware that we are planning to take every precaution possible to protect the safety of our children while they are attending schools in this system. I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep our kids safe, and if my parents as a whole want me to stand at the door with that AR slung around that officer's neck, then that's what I'm going to do, Harwood said.
Live scenario training will be conducted by the school system and the sheriff's office one week prior to the start of the school year, when children will be enrolled. All of the educators in the district will be a part of this.
The move to arm the schools has been met with considerable amount of opposition. Some people are of the opinion that keeping firearms on school grounds can lead to an increase in the number of occurrences involving firearms.
Within the past five years, the Giffords Law Center has uncovered close to one hundred instances of improper gun handling that occurred in educational institutions.
The deadly killing in Uvalde, however, was deemed to be the result of "systemic failings and egregiously poor decision making" on the part of the responding law officers, according to a report compiled by Texas lawmakers.
According to the investigation, 376 law enforcement officers reacted to the shooting, but the report also indicated that there was a lack of clear leadership and communication.
Even though there were policemen armed right outside the school, the gunman holed himself inside a classroom with children for over an hour. The officers were outside the classroom. According to the investigation, there is a possibility that some of the children would still be alive if they had not been forced to wait for 73 minutes before being rescued.
The state of North Carolina is not going to stand by and watch something like that happen to them.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on American Retirement Insider.