Marshall County Superintendent on Arming Teachers: “It Really Scares Me”

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The superintendent of Marshall County Schools said he would prefer an alternative to arming select administrators at schools.

“It really scares me,” Tim Nabors said about the proposal of Marshall County legislator Kerry Rich to have at least one school employee with a gun at every school in the state.

“I’d much rather it be in the hands of resource officers that have been trained.  When you have a situation where a lot of emotions are going on, an administrator is going to do anything to protect the students, and we just want to make sure the gun is pointed at the right person in that scenario,” Nabors said.

There is a school resource officer at each of the four Marshall County high schools.

Some of the elementary schools and high schools are together, but others are three to five minutes away and Nabors said that could be bad if there were an incident, so he would like to have a school resource officer at each campus as well. 

“If funds aren’t available I could maybe see how putting guns in the hands of administrators would be efficient, but there’d have to be a lot of training, I believe, in order for that to take effect and be effective.”

Representative Rich’s proposal would require training and certification twice a year.

The superintendent would recommend which administrators or teachers have guns, and boards of education would approve that decision before arming the staff member, but Nabors is also reluctant about that decision-making.

“Let’s say that I didn’t recommend someone and then something happened at that school, who’s that going to fall back on?,” Nabors said as he gestured to himself.

“We as superintendents would almost have to make sure we put guns in the hands of everyone, and that would put it back on us, and I’m not sure I quite like that,” he said.

“To me, if this is going to be a viable option, we’re going to have to put it in the hands of all administrators to cover the schools.  If we don’t, why even have it?”

Rich and other members of the Alabama Legislature’s Education Policy Committee will discuss the legislation next month with the state school superintendent.

Nabors said he is interested to hear some of their ideas on making schools safer, but he still thinks the best option is law enforcement officers, with guns, and not educators.

He has one other idea, which would put something other than guns on campus.

“To me, to answer a lot of these problems, we need to put God back in school,” he said.

“We need to put Bible teachings back in school, and to me that would handle a lot.”