FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – This week the state legislature voted to over-turn Governor Bentley’s veto of a local bill arming certain teachers and administrators in Franklin County Schools.
With the passing of the bill, school administrators and law enforcement must now write a new chapter in the book of protecting students at school.
To say that all eyes will be on the Franklin County School System this upcoming school year, could be an under-statement.
The school system is the first in the state to take student protection into their own hands.
“We don’t want a misconception to be out there that every teacher and employee is going to have a weapon, that is certainly not the case,” explained Superintendent Gary Williams. “There will be some qualified people who are able to handle emergency situations and well as handle a weapon. And they will have to go through training.”
Williams said he must now start the process of working with law enforcement to train educators for possible intruders.
According to Williams, there will be an application process for certifying that certain school personnel can handle emergency situations.
Only then, Williams stated, can the training process begin.
“With this in place, and even with an intruder knowing or a potential intruder knowing that there is someone in the school that can protect those kids, it might change their mind about entering the door.”
Superintendent Williams stresses the main reason for the arming of educators, is to slow down a possible intruder until law enforcement can get to the school.
Williams said the legislation is important because law enforcement response times to certain rural schools in the district can be more than twenty minutes.