The Arkansas Christian Academy is stirring up national controversy after it announced its teachers are heading back to school this year packing heat.
(Image source: Reddit / Jmillerdude ) BY JOHN O’CONNOR A private school in Arkansas is stirring up national controversy after it announced teachers will be heading back this year packing heat. Arkansas Christian Academy in Bryant, Arkansas posted this sign in front of its building, which reads “Staff is armed and trained, any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force.” (Via WFLD ) The school’s administrator, Pastor Perry Black, says the staff has been training to carry firearms since the deadly school shooting in Connecticut last December. (Via KARK ) Black says at least one to seven staff members at the school will be armed any given day. Arkansas’ attorney general shot down a plan to arm the staffs of the state’s public schools earlier this month, but in February, the state’s legislature passed laws specifically allowing weapons in schools operated by churches. Thus, most private schools in Arkansas are free to arm their staff if they wish. (Via The Raw Story ) “We’re a church, we’re about loving people … and I don’t understand why any politician or anyone — any loving, caring adult — would have a problem with providing protection to small children.” (Via Fox News ) But Think Progress points out some serious concerns that go along with arming teachers and school staff, claiming that “Even trained police have a track record of mistakenly firing on civilians in standoff situations …” raising the question if teachers would be equipped to handle that sort of situation. Think Progress also notes a incident in Kansas where a school that armed its teachers was denied coverage by insurers, “ … who deemed the armed teachers too great of a risk.” But a blogger for The Huffington Post commends the Arkansas Christian Academy’s decision, claiming it’s the only practical solution right now. “No gunman is going to target a school that can defend itself and fight back … In a perfect world we wouldn’t need to take such measures. But until that happens, critical thinking suggests that we … arm our teachers and school officials to ensure the safety of our children.” Pastor Black says the teachers have gone through local law enforcement to receive the proper training and certification to carry a concealed firearm.