The suggestion Friday (December 20) of having armed officers at schools as a deterrent to mass shootings found approval from Georgia School Superintendent John Barge.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Having a school resource officer would certainly be ideal,” Matt Cardoza, director of communications at the Georgia Department of Education, said Friday after a conversation with Barge. “It makes the school a safer place, but the state would have to pick up a significant part of that cost.
"Districts aren’t really in a position to pay for more than what they’re already struggling to pay for.”
Friday, a National Rifle Association executive called for Congress to foot the bill for armed guards at every school in the country.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a news conference in Washington, D.C.
"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it."
According to the AJC, the cost for such security in Georgia would come to nearly $47 million per year, if the officers earned an average annual salary of $35,000. The state has 2,289 public schools in the 2011-2012 school year, according to a report from the Georgia Department of Education.
However, in Gwinnett, the school system already is struggling financially. Teachers are not getting scheduled pay raises in the current budget, and they are having to endure furlough days.
-- Do you agree with the NRA proposal for armed security in schools? Do you feel the Georgia Legislature should appropriate the funds for security? Share your thoughts in the comments below.