Kentucky School District Scraps Plans To Arm Teacher, Staff

Posted at 5:02 AM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 05:02:59-04

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky school district that passed a resolution to train and arm school employees with firearms in the event of an active shooter has scrapped that plan and will instead have uniformed deputies patrolling schools.Pike County Sheriff’s Office deputies will patrol the county’s five high schools when the school year begins, officials told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Friday.The Pike County School Board passed the proposal in February after multiple U.S. school shootings, including one at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky. Several people were shot, and two people died.School Board Chairman Justin Maynard said the school board pursued the idea of arming teachers because the district couldn’t afford to pay law enforcement officers to patrol the schools at an estimated annual cost of more than $1 million.However, the sheriff’s office placed deputies in some schools after the proposal was passed and has since offered to keep those deputies where they are at no cost to the district. Officials said the district hopes to eventually help pay the sheriff’s office for the cost of those deputies.Lynn Cross, chief deputy of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, said all deputies who patrol the schools will take specialized courses on school safety through Kentucky’s Department of Criminal Justice Training.In addition to the deputy patrols, the district also has purchased security technology, worked to develop detailed safety plans for each school and led active shooter drills.Patricia Lea Collins, director of Pike County’s Head Start program, said the deputies help to reassure parents. Collins noted that, "these deputies have become part of the school staff culture."