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Georgia Schools Chief Backs NRA Proposal on Armed Officers at Schools

A spokesperson for Barge likes the suggestion for schools. Walton and Gwinnett counties already have armed school resource officers in many schools.

The suggestion Friday (December 20) of having armed officers at schools as a deterrent to mass shootings found approval from Georgia School Superintendent John Barge.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Having a school resource officer would certainly be ideal,” Matt Cardoza, director of communications at the Georgia Department of Education, said Friday after a conversation with Barge. “It makes the school a safer place, but the state would have to pick up a significant part of that cost.

"Districts aren’t really in a position to pay for more than what they’re already struggling to pay for.”

Friday, a National Rifle Association executive called for Congress to foot the bill for armed guards at every school in the country.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it."

According to the AJC, the cost for such security in Georgia would come to nearly $47 million per year, if the officers earned an average annual salary of $35,000. The state has 2,289 public schools in the 2011-2012 school year, according to a report from the Georgia Department of Education.

However, in Gwinnett, the school system already is struggling financially. Teachers are not getting scheduled pay raises in the current budget, and they are having to endure furlough days. In Walton and Gwinnett counties, though, armed school resource officers are in many of the schools - especially at the middle and high school levels. There are two SROs at Loganville High school.

So what is the answer? Can we afford to do this or is the question really can we afford not to? Would you like to see the armed school resource officer program extended to elementary schools in Walton County as well.

Chip Mitchell December 23, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I believe an intermediate solution would be to put select teachers through the same firearms training that a School Resource Officer undergoes. This way, schools have the same level of armed defense without the increase in salary costs.
George Wilson December 23, 2012 at 09:12 PM
When you are in trouble with a position, like Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, you do what most people do: 1. Change the subject (guards needed in schools) 2. Blame it on someone else (the media and the entertainment business) 3. Deny it (when did guns become the villain asked Wayne LaPierre rhetorically during his news conference?) Let's start from the top with number one. Most schools have security officers, Virginia Tech and Columbine did and many schools already do. Do we also include guards at most locations where people congregate; ie, movies, ball games, etc.? The expense for schools would be about 6.7 billion dollars .Who pays? The Republicans have over the last ten years cut five billion from schools in Georgia. Where will schools get the money? Perhaps a special tax on bullets and guns could be passed? Lets' take the number two argument. Japan is noted for its extremely violent video games yet the per capita deaths by guns is very small .This also applies to Germany,Canada,Great Britain, and other countries they also looks at the same movies we do and play the same video games. The number three argument is the gun industry is enjoying a boom with 5 % of the world's population the United state owns 50% of all guns. Wayne LaPierre is paid over one million dollars a years in salary. This money comes from the gun industry and the 4 million members that the NRA keeps in a constant state of agitation and fear in order to keep the money coming in.
Tim December 24, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I concur Chip whole heartedly with select teachers who are required to go through the same psychological and physical training as police officers. Only then would I qualify them to be able to carry concealed in the classroom but I am for SRO's in the Walton Elementary Schools now. From the research I have seen, nearly all school shootings were done in "Gun Free Zones". I don't care what other countries do. They do not have our history, struggle for freedom and the wisdom our forefathers had when drawing up the Constitution. George, you thinking is flawed as is that of every other Liberal in this country.
Tim December 24, 2012 at 01:45 AM
http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1684488551001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAACC1lKhk~,ZvV6UsgbjjZzy5iAEyU8skbXMqWBZ-rJ&bctid=2051953349001
Julie Blan December 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Absolutely not. A bunch of guns in a confined space with semi-"trained" personnel trying to teach class. What could possibly go wrong? In response to @Tim, the wisdom of our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The second clause is not a stand-alone sentence. The second clause is dependent on the first. In the late 1700's if you were 18 and male, you went into the militia. You had to be armed. However, after the War of 1812, the militia was disbanded when it became apparent that a well-trained permanent army was necessary to the defense of the country. The Supreme Court in the Heller decision were the ones to determine that "the right to bear arms" for private citizens continued. The question is whether with the current make-up of he Court and the number of constitutionalists would the decision remain intact..
Tim December 24, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I can see that the Founders possessed much more foresight than your narrowmindedness JB. They understood that a country without an armed citizenry would be at the mercy of a standing army of any tyrant. That is why they left England. All down thru history we see that the way to have absolute power over a country is for a dictator(Hitler, Stalin) etc. is first to consfiscate their weapons. Even if the militia was disbanded, no one gave up their guns until this day. That is YOUR opinion of the 2nd Amendment and opinions are like aholes......unless of course you sit on the Supreme Court. So your opinion means nothing to me as far as the 2nd amendment is concerned. You want places and schools to be more secure? Some liberal on here explain to me how you would disarm criminals to make that happen.........? Explain to me with all the gun control laws we have now why criminals can still get guns. Explain to me why in the WCSD newsletter and the DNR law enforcement report I read numerous, numerous accounts of convicted felons arrested for some other crime and are also toting a weapon. Another charge that they will spend jail time for. What is your solution to criminals being able to get guns under the radar?
Chris P December 24, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I watched LaPierre's news conference and what he said made sense. This problem multi-faceted. There is a problem with the lack of mental health care in this country. There is a problem with violent video games and violence in the media. These all need to be addressed. At the end of the day, if there is a monster about to attack innocent children, there is a last and only line of defense, and individual who is armed!!! If any liberals feel morally superior by sending their child to a "Gun Free" zone, that is your choice. That is not were i will be sending mine.
Tammy Osier December 24, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Here's the deal. No one ever, ever wishes a day would come when deadly force is necessary. Ever. I've got a plan for most every situation that I can think of. Escape route in my home, if in the kitchen, I know which objects would work, if not, I know where my weapon is etc... Out on the street...for instance, I wish somebody would try to steal my purse. It's mine, and the element of surprise would be on my side - because I'm prepared. This is the last little old Italian lady a thief would try to steal from. I'd win that one. That's a bet. BUT, what if there was deadly force being used against me? I'd be helpless. Common sense, says, that in the event there is deadly force, there is one way to defend. With deadly force. Common sense lesson brought to you today for free. :)
Karsten Torch December 26, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Easier and cheaper to allow people to carry in schools. A few teachers, unknown to anybody as to who has a gun or not, and we don't need to worry about these psychos killing a bunch of people any more. And Brian, you may be right about the number of gun deaths in places like Great Britain, but they rank pretty much number one in violent crime per capita, and the number of murders has remained constant since the gun ban. So now the criminals just use other weapons. I mean why not? Their victims are helpless to defend themselves. they have nothing to fear. No thanks, I'll keep my guns and my ability to defend me and mine.

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