Proposal In The Works To Arm School Security Guards Under Certain Conditions

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email


Despite the recent school shootings in Huntsville a few weeks ago and the most recent in Littleton, Colorado, the proposal to arm school security guards at Alabama public schools came up for the second time before the Judiciary Committee at the Alabama Statehouse.

"This is a bill that we passed out last year," said Senator Roger Smitherman of Birmingham.

Once again Senator Smitherman wants school security guards to carry guns.

"Many times when people are trying to walk or steal stuff from the school they have weapons.. fire them upon the guards who are not armed," said Senator Smitherman.

Smitherman's proposal would change that.

As it stands right now the plan would allow security guards who patrol school campuses at night to be armed after some additional training. However, guards would not be allowed to carry weapons during the day at school or anytime around a school event such as a basketball game if they're not certified law enforcement officers.

The Alabama Association of School Boards says it likes the idea but believes the proposal needs a little fine tuning.

"We want to make sure the students are protected when these guards are armed. We'd like to see stronger language in there," said Executive Director Sally Howell.

As with any proposal making its way up the chain in the legislature, even a few others suggested amendments during the life of the bill such as:

"Does the local board decide the model of weapon used?" Senator Ted Little asked.

"It doesn't say the exact weapon they could use," said Senator Smitherman.

And this suggestion from Senator Hank Sanders.

"I wish we could come up with some training for them," said Senator Sanders.

In the end the proposal dodged a bullet and was adopted by the committee.

Now it's headed to the senate floor.

On the local level the Montgomery County School District has 42 security guards, armed with only radios and handcuffs.

For now no word when the Alabama Senate will vote on Senator Smitherman's bill.

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