ID 128952605 © Simone Hogan |
school security guard

Cobb County (Ga.) board approves policy to arm some school employees

July 15, 2022
The policy states that the superintendent can authorize “certain employees” to carry weapons, but it specifically excludes teachers.

The Cobb County (Ga.) school board has approved a policy that will allow some employees — but not teachers — to carry weapons in schools

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the policy is an effort to increase armed security in the district, which is struggling to fill vacant positions in its police force. The board approved the policy in a 4-2 vote, with one member absent, over a group of protesters who stood and chanted, “Delay the vote!”

“I think it’s dangerous, rash and vastly, wrongly open-ended,” Cobb parent Charles Andrew Cole told the board. “‘Let’s get more guns in schools and we’ll add specifics later’ is not the way we should operate.”

The policy states that the superintendent can authorize “certain employees” to carry weapons, but it does not mention a specific type of employee. Before board members voted, Ragsdale amended the policy to eliminate a line that would have allowed for Cobb teachers to be armed in some cases.

“As we have discussed on numerous occasions, again I am not in favor of arming teachers,” he said. “Teachers have one job and that is to teach.”

Cobb County, with about 113,000 students, has 67 school resource officers for more than 100 schools and facilities.

Dozens of states allow people to carry guns on campuses in some circumstances, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In states like Florida and Texas, which have been the sites of mass school shootings in recent years, teachers and other employees may be trained and permitted to carry weapons at schools.

Cobb’s new policy states that carrying a weapon will be strictly voluntary. The employee must be licensed to carry a firearm. Employees must pass an annual criminal history background check and cannot have a history of mental or emotional instability.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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