COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – In the wake of Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school, some gun advocates have again called for educators to be able to carry weapons at school. But others say that raises more questions that answers.
“Who would you give it to? Would you arm every single staff person? Would you require a certain amount of training, licenser, retraining? Would you look at stability,” asks Noxubee County Superintendent Dr. Kevin Jones.
Those are just a few of the questions raised by the idea of armed teachers as the nation continues to cope with Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Metal detectors and fortress-like schools, even for elementary schools, also have been suggested.
Noxubee County schools already have armed resource officers in the older grades but Jones says safety is more about keeping up with the times.
“Many of the schools were built 50 years ago, at a time when security wasn’t the main focus. So, no you have schools being retro-fitted with cameras, surveillance cameras, you have entrance doors being changed, you have buzz in entrances,” added Dr. Jones.
And as educators and parents are concerned about what will happening regarding guns on school property, the way a school is designed is just as important to protect our children.
“I think you’ll see a lot more school layouts where a principal or someone probably go to one spot and begin to monitor and see lots of different hallways, lots of different entrances as apposed ti some older layouts,” says Joey Henderson, JBHM Architect.
Some schools have already been designed to have a locked foyer where you’re able to enter two double doors but have to be buzzed in by the receptionist. But every situation is different.
“Most of the time, they’re not going to walk through the front door, their going to walk through a door that’s been left open or an end door they can maybe jimmy so I think it’s a question too to secure all your entrances,” added Henderson.
In light of Friday’s events, Tupelo school officials say they will upgrade entrances and procedures at every school and other districts we talked to say they are reviewing policies for other possible safeguards.