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Statement from State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge on the NRA's call for armed guards in schools

Dec. 22, 2012 - Unfortunately, some have taken my comments about "armed guards" in schools out of context.

My practical experience as a high school principal taught me that School Resource Officers - who are uniformed and well trained - can be a deterrent for senseless acts of violence like what we saw in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. We already have many armed School Resource Officers in our schools today and they have become part of the school community.

They are in no way "armed guards" that would give students, teachers and parents a sense of fear. We are here to educate and protect students and having armed guards at the front of the building is not the solution.

Clearly stated, I support School Resource Officers - NOT armed guards - in our schools. School Resource Officers who are properly trained are a valuable asset for improving school climate and staff morale. However, the decision of whether to have SRO's is ultimately going to be a local school district decision.