The Clarksville School District in Arkansas was wrong to withhold the names of employees that were trained under questionable legal circumstances to carry concealed handguns on campus, according to state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
McDaniel wrote the opinion in response to a local radio station that requested the names of teachers involved in the “Emergency Response Team” for Clarksville schools.
“I must conclude that knowing the number of ERT members and their identities would shed great light on the school district's performance of its duties," McDaniel wrote. "Though the privacy interest is weighty, the public's interest is at least as weighty, which means that the record must be disclosed."
McDaniel said that prosecutors must decide whether or how to proceed against school employees who are relying on the license to carry concealed weapons on campus.
Clarksville superintendent David Hopkins said he wanted to discuss McDaniel’s accusations with the district attorneys before making a decision about the names, though he said he expressed fear that teachers would be targeted.
"If someone were trying to put together some sort of plan. They would have a lot of information available to them if they knew who it was and where it was in the building," Hopkins said.
According to McDaniel, the state Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Companies, which regulates private investigators, was also in the wrong when it allowed 20 teachers to work as volunteer armed security guards and licensed the Arkansas school district as a private security firm.
The board is scheduled to meet August 14 to discuss the licenses.