Posting an armed officer in every Hazelwood school and in schools across the country is the goal of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the guns-rights lobby announced on Friday.
The statement comes on the heels of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, CT, where 20 children and six adults were killed. NRA had remained silent until Wednesday, when it first announced its intention to offer "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
The Hazelwood School District (HSD) already has school resource officers (SROs) stationed at almost every middle and high school in the district, along with security officers. In each case, HSD contracts with the Hazelwood Police Department for those schools located in Hazelwood city limits.
The funding for SRO is entirely footed by individual districts, so the financial burden of increasing patrols or adding additional security personnel is placed squarely on schools.
In some cases like with HSD, depending on the various municipalities, the cost is split, with HSD paying a percentage and the police departments paying a percentage, said Diana Gulotta, HSD's assistant superintendent for communications.
Tim Fitch, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, previously suggested that school officials arm themselves to protect students, an idea that was rejected by local school officials during a meeting of the Safe Schools Partnership Program on Thursday.
(See related: Parent Says Teachers Should Teach, Not Be Police)
Following the shooting, President Barack Obama has pledged to make gun control a "central issue" in his second term, reports the New York Times. A proposal is expected within a few weeks.
The NRA's statement approaches the issue much differently. Instead of creating more stringest gun control laws, the NRA suggests that guns in schools would prevent future shootings.
For more on HSD School Safety read:
- Following Rumors of Violence, HSD Schools Let Out Safely for Christmas Holiday
- Bringing a Bullet to School Could Mean Expulsion
- Lockdown: Newtown Shooting Prompts HSD Safety Measure Revamp
- Three Teens To Be Charged in Attempted Sexual Assault at Hazelwood West Middle School
- After Assault Attempt, West Middle Begins Recovery
- Hazelwood West Middle School Forming A Safe School Committee
- HSD On Newtown School Shooting: "Loss of Life that Took Place is Truly a Tragedy"
TELL US: Do you believe an armed officer in every school is the right approach? Or do you think tougher gun laws is necessary? Let us know in the comments below.