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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Bills would add security at schools

Friday, January 25, 2013

State legislators are on the right track with providing protection in schools. Bills are advancing in both the Senate and House that would essentially open the door for an armed guard (resource officer) to be in all schools, especially elementary schools. The Senate bill actually provides that the state will foot the bill. We'll see if that provision stays.

Franklin County High School and the middle school already have resource officers, but elementary schools do not. If approved by the General Assembly, that would certainly change. School divisions may also want to take a look at increasing the number of resource officers at large schools, such as FCHS and Benjamin Franklin Middle School.

As we've said before, having resource officers, whether it's someone already in law enforcement or a school staff member with proper training, is the most reasonable path to take in providing security for schools. Elementary schools are considered "soft targets" because of a lack of armed personnel on site.

Chances are, we all hope and pray, these officers would never be needed for protection from an armed intruder, but it would certainly give everyone some peace of mind to know they are there.

Obviously, all localities want the state to provide the funding for the extra personnel. If not, it would essentially be yet another unfunded mandate if approved. We urge legislators to pass the version of the bill that does provide that funding.

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