National News

Could educators soon be armed in a metro Atlanta community?

Posted May 7, 2018 8:59 a.m. EDT

— Parents with children in the Jackson County school district are speaking out, expressing their concerns about a pending policy which, if passed, would allow some school employees to carry guns on campus.

Dana Phillips, who has children in the district, says she doesn't want educators carrying guns in the classroom. Instead, she wants special resource officers protecting her daughter while she's at school.

We've come tighter as a group of concerned parents to ensure that our teachers are not placed with the burden of having to to have a firearm in their classroom to protect their students," says Phillips. "The officers are the professionals. They have trained for years and years for these types of situations. And our educators should be in classrooms educating our children."

CBS46 has learned that the policy comes after the recent shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 people were killed and several more injured.

John Jackson is the superintendent for the Jackson County School District. He says if the policy is passed, only selected employees could carry a gun on campus. Those selected employees would have to pass firearm training courses at the local police department.

"You just feel like your being pushed closer and closer into a corner in terms of trying of trying to combat shootings if it was to happen at your school," says Jackson. "If we have that option for us here in the system, the situation is reversed. It hopefully would give someone something to think about beforehand."

A study from the Journal of Pediatrics finds that gunshot wounds are the third leading cause of injury for children aged 1-17. About 1,300 children in that age group die each year in shootings.