Without money to hire security guards for the five schools he oversees, giving teachers nearly 60 hours of training and their own guns seemed like the only reasonable, economical way to protect the 2,500 public school students in Clarksville, a small town in the Ozark foothills. After the Newtown, Conn., school mass murder last December, 33 states considered new legislation aimed at arming teachers and administrators. Only five enacted laws that expanded the ability for public educators to arm themselves at school.
Arkansas state law prohibits guns on campus, but some schools have found ways around the statute, says the New York Times. In Clarksville, Ark., for example, 16 people, including the janitor and a kindergarten teacher, wear guns to school every day. Like rural educators who are quietly doing the same thing in a handful of other states, Superintendent David Hopkins has formulated a security plan that relies on a patchwork of concealed-weapons laws, special law enforcement regulations and local school board policies to arm teachers.