FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A controversial bill that would allow the Franklin County school district to arm volunteers on campus, got vetoed by Governor Robert Bentley.
Now the representative who sponsored this bill wants answers to what he calls a school security crisis.
Representative Johnny Mack Morrow from Red Bay points to a map of Franklin County and explains none of the five schools have school resource officers.
If Representative Morrow has his way, teachers and volunteers would be toting guns across campus.
“We have these people out there who have the talents and the ability and the training and we have this need, but the governor won`t let us bring the two together, and I don`t understand,” said Morrow (D) 18th District.
According to Representative Morrow, as an example, if there was an active shooting situation at Tharptown High School, students would be inside for nearly a half hour before emergency responders could get to the scene
In a letter to Governor Bentley, Representative Morrow directly asks for the state leader to come up with a solution.
“All I want is for you [Governor Bentley] to tell me, what to tell my students in those remote rural schools in that 30 minutes that they are waiting for help to arrive,” said Morrow.
The governor’s office fired back claiming Governor Bentley supports a local bill, as long as the bill meets certain safety and training requirements, which were not included in Morrow’s versions.
“We all believe in protecting our children, we all have that in common,” said the governor’s communications director, Jeremy King. “We all want our children to be safe, the issue here, is we need to make sure those who are protecting our children have the proper training.”
Governor Bentley’s camp outlined three criteria that must be added before he passed the bill:
- The security force must be Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission certified
- Volunteers must be specifically trained to combat active shooters
- The liability for the bill must rest with the county