BRYANT, Arkansas — An Arkansas private school has made national headlines for deciding to train and arm its teachers with guns.
Arkansas Christian Academy has put up signs on its campus that read, “Staff is armed and trained. Any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force.” Pastor Perry Black of Family Church, with which the school is affiliated, told KARK Channel 4 that the school decided to employ the same stance against violence that his church does on Sundays.
“I just felt like with what’s going on in many of the public sectors where there seems to be a lot of shootings, we need to take the same stance that we do in church on Sunday for our kids Monday through Friday,” Black told the news station.
Black said that one to seven staff members are armed at the school during the day. They began training earlier this year after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., which left 26 people, including 20 children, dead at the school.
Arkansas Christian is getting praise on its Facebook page for its decision. Parent Nikki Fuller Adams said she is proud to have her child enrolled in the school.
Another man, Kyle Borne, expressed his support for the decision.
“I would rather send my daughter to a place where I know others will protect her when I cannot, than rely on hopes and prayers,” Borne wrote. “I can only hope more private schools adopt this policy.”
Arkansas Christian is not the first school in the state to consider arming teachers. The Associated Press reported this summer that more than 20 staff members in the Clarksville, Ark., school district were training to become security guards in the district’s schools.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel earlier this month shot down plans to arm staff in the state’s public schools, KARK reports.