Askew Discuss What Law Allows for School Security with Floyd BOE

The Floyd County Board of Education met Tuesday morning to discuss possible measures aimed at strengthening school security, among them allowing specific educators access to firearms securely kept on campuses should an active shooter situation arise.

The discussion — which followed the deadly shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school last week — also touched on stationing police officers and implementing a tiered-entry system at each Floyd County school, along with increasing the number of counselors and developing open communication with students, who may be the first to see or hear of a potential threat.

No action was taken on what was discussed, rather the school system will further research the matters and reconvene with board members to share their findings during the March 6 board meeting.
The system’s attorney and Brinson Askew Berry partner King Askew, addressed the possibility of arming educators and what the law allows. As a general rule, he said having guns at school, events or on buses is prohibited, with certain exceptions, namely school resource officers.

However, Askew said the board could authorize, through a written policy, for certain individuals in a school to have access to firearms. These individuals would be subject to annual criminal history checks and psychological evaluations, as well as undergoing training, including marksmanship and judgmental pistol shooting — the statute on the matter does not state the level of training required. They must also have a gun permit.

Additionally, Askew said firearms at the school should be kept in a lock box which is not easily accessible by students.

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