Bill could arm school employees

The Associated Press reported Thursday evening that a state lawmaker intends to introduce legislation that would allow Alabama schools to arm certain employees.

Republican state Rep. Kerry Rich of Albertville stated his belief that the plan would curtail violent incidents similar to the one that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. earlier this month.

Since the bill has yet to be written, Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Al Griffin was very cautious in his reaction toward the potential legislation. Still, Griffin did note his hope that the legislature would consider funding trained resource officers rather than arming school employees.

“I need to read the entire bill and be prepped on its entire meaning,” Griffin said. “In lieu of arming school employees with little firearm training, maybe the Legislature will consider funding a trained school resource officer for every K-12 campus in Alabama.”

Rich indicated he hopes to pre-file the bill before the Legislature begins its 2013 session Feb. 5. Rich also said he expects his plan and others to be discussed at a Jan. 9 meeting with legislators, law enforcement and education officials regarding school violence.