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    State legislators support arming teachers in the classroom

    10:07 PM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
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    (Photo: Thinkstock Photos)

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - State legislators show support for Clarksville Superintendent David Hopkins and his plan to provide teachers with guns in the classroom. Speaking at a joint judiciary conference meeting Wednesday in Little Rock, senators and representatives praised Hopkins for his efforts in creating the program and training teachers and staff at the Clarksville schools.

    Attorney General Dustin McDaniel recently found the plan to be illegal which led to the state board of security agencies suspending Clarksville's program.

    "I want to try to fix that, so we can put the decision back into the hands of the schools, and let them make their own decision," said Rep. Marshall Wright, who chairs the house judicial committee. "We're working together to ensure the safety of our children. That's what it's about. We don't need to lose focus. This is not about anything but taking care of our kids."

    The only legislator to speak out against Clarksville's plan was Sen. Joyce Elliott of Little Rock.

    "I don't know how you teach and not be totally immersed and how you feel confident with that person having a weapon on them in a classroom," she told Hopkins, citing her classroom involvement during her teaching career.

    Lake Hamilton Superintendent Steve Anderson also spoke to legislators in support of arming school staff. His district has provided guns to a number of full-time security guards over the past 20 years. Anderson told the committee about changing his mind after seeing school shootings happen across the country.

    "Those types of things changed the way I looked at firearms and law enforcement in public schools, and I think they've changed the way we do business in education," he explained.

    Rep. Wright told THV11 he hopes to change the laws prohibiting school districts from arming staff before the next legislative session.

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