Alabama moves to arm, train some public school administrators

Campus Carry, Concealed Carry, Crime, Gun Laws, Politics & 2nd Amendment, Safety, Second Amendment, Self Defense

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey established the program as an additional security measure in schools that do not have a school resource officer (Photo: Governor’s Office)

The voluntary Alabama Sentry Program would allow administrators in the state’s public school systems to have a gun on campus once they meet requirements.

Established last week by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, through administrative action under current state law, the program works with the Alabama State Department of Education and state police to establish a framework to help add armed staff to schools that lack a resource officer. Backers argue that, unlike teachers, school administrators have “complete access to their schools” not just an individual classroom, thus allowing them to be responsible for all of the students on campus and better placed to confront an active shooter.

“The Alabama Sentry plan is a reasonable and measured approach to provide an additional tool for schools without a resource officer,” said Ivey after pointing out that the current summer vacation would be an ideal time to stand up the program. “With the unfortunate continued occurrence of school violence across our country, we cannot afford to wait until the next legislative session.”

Under the program, a volunteer faculty member with a school administrator certificate and concealed carry permit would have to be approved by their local superintendent, school board and county sheriff to become a sentry. Commissioning of the administrator as a reserve sheriff’s deputy, tasked only with responding to an armed intruder, would occur after training and passing drug, mental-health and stress screenings. Faculty serving as sentries would have to use a weapon from an approved list and be issued a distinctively-marked ballistic vest. The gun would be stored in a biometrically-secured safe on school grounds.

Names of those serving in the program will not be made public and officials can terminate a faculty member’s partication for violation of the guidelines or if a dedicated school resource officer is hired. The Alabama Sheriff’s Association, state Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor and Dr. Eric Mackey, Alabama Superintendent of Education, support the program.

“Schools are sanctuaries of learning and, as such, they must be safe places for our children to learn, knowing that the adults around them are watching out for their safety and security,” Mackey said. “With recent events around our country, now is the time to act.”

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  1. Why not teachers as well, ask them, after all they are the ones in the same shooting gallery, one gun with an administrator is not going to be effective, MOST of the time, it will not help and then the anti-gun loons will say well we told you that would not work, so lets do it right.

  2. Sounds good. Get the useless resource cops out of the schools. Most of them are perverts and should not be around children.

  3. “a distinctively-marked ballistic vest” will make the administrator a sitting duck – wearing it will destroy any anonymity they might have had. How could they even get near a shooter without him/her knowing?

  4. I’m sick & tired of having to repeat myself: Don’t let the shooters into the school…problem solved.

  5. Definitely a step in the right direction. Shootings mostly happen in gun free zones so anyone knowing that there is someone armed against them at the school will not likely start an attack in the first place. No, it won’t stop a suicidal attacker from trying but most shooters don’t want to die themselves. The object is to prevent the shooting in the first place, not to allow someone to shoot a disturbed child who needs a mental health intervention after they go off the rails. More needs to be done to train staff at schools to learn to recognize mental health issues in their charges and act on that before a child hurts themselves or others. School shootings are a mental health problem, not a gun problem.

  6. Stored in biometric safe where in their office? Won’t do much good unless that’s where he/she is when a shooting starts…..

  7. i agree with johnny. take down the “gun free zone” signs down, place a national guard warrior at every enterance fully armed in plain sight. if that doesn’t work put two or three to greet shooters.

  8. It’s a start.. maybe, whomever will check Mr. Jones (down the hall) that is a target shooter on weekends and according to this, is not able to be apart of this.

  9. It’s a start.. maybe, whomever will check Mr. Jones (down the hall) that is a target shooter on weekends and according to this, is not able to be a part of this.

  10. “Faculty serving as sentries would have to use a weapon from an approved list and be issued a distinctively-marked ballistic vest. The gun would be stored in a biometrically-secured safe on school grounds.”

    When I first read the headline I thought this might be a useful program, but now that I get the details it’s a joke. First, an approved list of firearms? Why not a gun the person is familiar and competent with? Second, the vest is fine, but will they wear it all the time or depend on having time to don it? Finally, they’re keeping the gun in a biometrically-secured safe? Let’s hope the shooter takes a break to give them time to retrieve their gun. And if they are taken out, since administrator’s offices are usually very close to the main entrance, then I guess everyone else dies because even teachers who have carry permits and know how to respond won’t be able to access the gun.

    All in all, a stupid, half-step plan that has a very small percentage of successfully stopping a mass shooting.

  11. Stupid half plan is better than no defensive guns at all in the school.
    This is a baby step to normalize armed citizens in the scholl.
    We have a long way to go.
    Its a start.

  12. I believe all teachers that will, should be armed, and carry the weapon on their person, having to retrieve the weapon after the gunman is observed, having a weapon, is ludicrous, it’s bad enough just having to draw your weapon from you concealment holster, but if you have to go somewhere to even retrieve your weapon, it is ludicrous, and you will certainly have student casualties if the teacher does not have the gun at hand, and I think one innocent life is too many. What your proposing is a step in the right direction, but these students need to know that their safety is being looked after from the moment a shooter is recognized, not after the teacher goes to get their weapon.

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