An Arkansas school district’s plan to arm some of its teachers was shot down by the state's attorney general on Thursday. The Clarksville School District planned to give more than 20 teachers and staff concealed 9 mm handguns and use them as volunteer security guards. Thanks to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) that will not happen.
"Simply put, the code in my opinion does not authorize either licensing a school district as a guard company or classifying it as a private business authorized to employ its own teachers as armed guards," McDaniel wrote.
David Hopkins, Clarksville's superintendent, spoke with McDaniel about the situation and admitted that "it sounds like he's saying that we can't do the program."
He added: "Obviously we're going to comply with the law. We're not going to break the law. We wanted to provide the training and give the sense of a secure place for our parents and students. I tell you, this has really thrown a monkey wrench into it."
McDaniel said that school districts across the state would still be able to contract with private security companies or to use law enforcement as school resource officers, Fox News reported.
"If a school district were indeed functioning as a `guard company,' then, it would be organized to provide services to any and all 'customers' purely for the purpose of generating income — a private business motivation that is self-evidently anathema to a school district's purely public functions," he wrote.
Staff members who had already begun participating in Clarksville's program were given a one-time $1,100 stipend to purchase a handgun and holster. The district had also budgeted about $50,000 for ammunition and for training at Nighthawk Custom Training Academy.