NRA Proposes Training School Staff Who Want to Be Armed

Asa Hutchinson, who is the National Rifle Association’s director of its National School Shield Task Force, today unveiled a report recommending more weapons be provided to School Resource Officers (SROs), as well as other selected school personnel. It also calls for relaxing current restrictions on gun ownership.

The report follows the NRA’s December unveiling of its proposal on school security, which includes the training of armed guards. The “National School Shield” program was proposed in response to the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting and the public’s demand for gun control.

The report specifically recommends:

Training “A model-training program has been developed by the Task Force for the professional training of armed personnel in the school environment. This training will only be open to those who are designated by school officials and qualified by appropriate background investigation, testing and relevant experience. It is recommended that the professional training programs that are approved by the states for armed school personnel use private sector approved and certified trainers as well as traditional state law enforcement trainers.”

Related Article: Obama and the NRA’s School Security Plans Are Both Right… and Wrong

Relaxing Current Laws Restricting Gun Ownership “Many states prohibit anyone other than a sworn law-enforcement officer or licensed security guard to carry a firearm in a public or non-public school. In order for a selected school staff member to be designated, trained and armed on school property, the states will have to change current legal restrictions.”

School Resource Officer “Each school that employs an SRO should have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), or an “interagency agreement,” between the appropriate law-enforcement agency and the school district. This contract should define the duties and responsibilities of the SRO, as well as the applicable laws, rules and regulations. The objective of the SRO is not to increase juvenile arrests within a school, but to provide security and to support the normal disciplinary policies of a school consistent with the MOU.”

Related Article: Common Misconceptions About Armed Officers at Schools

State Education Adequacy Requirement “State standards related to school security vary from non-existent to stringent. Although state responses to school security will naturally vary, there should be a common element that requires all public schools to participate in an assessment and develop a security plan based on the unique requirements of that particular institution.”

Federal Coordination and Funding “Either through legislation or executive action, a lead agency should be designated to coordinate the federal programs and funding of local school safety efforts. The Department of Homeland Security should be designated as the lead, supported by the Department of Education and Department of Justice.”

Related Article: More Guns On Campus Won’t Make Schools More Secure

Specific Pilot Program on Threat Assessments and Mental Health. “As part of its comprehensive security plan, each school should develop a threat assessment team, which will work in coordination with mental health professionals. The purpose is to create a positive school environment that encourages sharing information on early warning signs and reducing incidences of bullying or other antisocial behavior. The team should coordinate with any current crisis response protocols, and should be responsible for assessing the emotional climate of the school by reviewing all relevant policies, rules and regulations that affect the educational environment.”

Read the report.

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