Gov. Reeves wants to allocate funds to train ‘guardians’ in case of school shooting

In this Aug. 13, 2014 photograph, a student prepares to leave the Enterprise Attendance Center.
In this Aug. 13, 2014 photograph, a student prepares to leave the Enterprise Attendance Center.(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 11:26 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi and Jackson Association of Educators are speaking out about one of the items on Governor Reeves’ legislative wish list.

The governor wants Mississippi lawmakers to put up more money in arming “guardians” to “be trained to provide armed intervention in the event of an active shooter threat.”

These guardians would be employees of the school district and nominated to be trained and certified by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

But some education leaders say: Not so fast.

They say the program, known as the Mississippi School Safety Guardian Program, is not a solution to safety concerns in schools.

Although the governor’s recommendation is in response to the increase in school shootings across the country, they believe there are other ways to help protect kids in the classroom.

“What the governor is proposing does not prevent anything. It does not prevent school shootings,” said George Stewart, President of the Jackson Association of Educators. “What it does do is it gives somebody the opportunity and the means to take out a threat after a threat has caused harm, but as far as preventing anything, it doesn’t prevent anything. How about the governor puts forth that money towards improving the infrastructure that will provide better security for our students and staff.”

“Our educators are working really hard,” added Erica Jones, president of the Mississippi Association of Educators. “We fear that arming them is just one additional task that they will be faced with. There are so many instances that can occur when our educators are armed and we are looking for other solutions to help with this issue.”

They also recommend the governor meet with teachers in the state to gauge their thoughts on armed teachers in the classroom.

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