Guns to be locked in Safes at School

A change has been made to the Armed School Alliance Program being proposed in the School District of Oconee County (SDOC), explains Superintendent Dr. Michael Thorsland. “I would like everyone to know that this is a secondary school safety proposal. Our first goal is to have a School Resource Officer (SRO) is every school. That is one thing that I think almost all of the public can agree with that the best case scenario is to have a police officer in each school, so that is our goal. We are several police officers short of that, we currently have nine and we have 16-19 schools depending on how you define school. We have 16 kind of traditional elementary, middle or high schools but then we also have a Career Center, an Alternative School and an Adult ED Program. So, depending on how you quantify that we could need anywhere from 7-10 SROs to complete that and that is an expensive proposal particularly to accomplish in one budget year. So, this is a secondary proposal that would allow a very small number of school district employees to go through a very rigorous training program through the Sheriff’s Office and that would allow those individuals to then have access to a firearm only in the event of an emergency. Originally when we made this proposal it would have involved concealed carry but after speaking with principals and other stakeholders, we have decided the best way to do it would be to have locked safes that contain a firearm located in strategic locations around a school. They would most likely have finger print access and only those trained individuals would be able to get to those firearms and of course, that would only be in the case of an active shooter.” The proposed Armed School Alliance Program is still in the discussion phase and the Board of Trustees for the SDOC will hold more meetings on the plan in the coming months.