COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The Cobb County School Board voted 4-2 to pass an “enhanced security” proposal that allows selected staff to carry guns on campuses with proper training but without prior police experience.
A section that allowed selected teachers to be able to carry in classrooms was removed before the vote. A couple of dozen parents and organizers shouted and chanted during the controversial vote Thursday night before the board ultimately voted to pass the proposal.
“Teachers are not going to be armed,” said Cobb County Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. “It is very important, obviously, for us to exhaust every possible option for keeping our staff and students safe.”
Ragsdale says it’s been a challenge to hire more POST-certified school resource officers. He says hiring approved armed staff without formal police training is one way of protecting against threats.
“Where we have substantiated threats, we can have that team in the school without having a huge police presence.”
Meanwhile, some parents in attendance had concerns.
“I absolutely would be concerned about unintentional shootings,” said Beoncia Loveless, a Cobb mother and volunteer with Moms Demand Action.
She’s one of about 20 people who loudly criticized the board for approving the proposal without a dedicated public discussion.
“More guns around our children is not the best way to make them safe,” said Loveless.
Ragsdale says any approved staff will report to the Cobb County School Police Department Chief Ron Storey and receive training on judgement, pistol shooting, and a review of current laws.
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