Schools in NC Mountain County are armed with AR-15 rifles for the new school year

MARSHALL, N.C. (AP/WCSC/CBS Newspath) — When schools in a North Carolina county reopen later this month, new safety measures will include stocking AR-15 rifles, which the school’s resource officers will use in the event of an active one can use shooters.

School officials and Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood have placed a semi-automatic rifle in each of the county’s six schools.

Each of the weapons is locked in a safe. The action was spurred by the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May that killed 19 children and two teachers.

Harwood announced the plan during a press conference in June. Harwood argued at the time that one MP armed with a pistol wasn’t always enough to stop certain situations.

“I have school resource officers in every school in our county who are certified deputy sheriffs, but we’ve seen at times that just having a handgun-armed deputy sheriff isn’t enough to stop these animals,” the sheriff said in June.

Because of this, Harwood said he decided to equip every resource officer in the school with an AR-15 rifle with optics and accessories.

According to Harwood, all of the rifles and accessories were purchased with funds donated by Madison County residents.

Haywood explained that each officer will undergo hours of additional tactical training with these rifles to ensure they are ready to use them. He added that each rifle is also kept in an undisclosed location in each school.

The idea of ​​having AR-15s in schools doesn’t sit well with Dorothy Espelage, a UNC-Chapel Hill professor who has conducted decades of school safety research.

Espelage predicted there will be accidents involving the AR-15s, saying that “putting them in schools” “makes no sense”. Schools in NC Mountain County are armed with AR-15 rifles for the new school year

Dais Johnston

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