Tri-State schools react to NRA security recommendations

KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - A new list of recommendations from the National Rifle Association (NRA) is designed to cut the number of violent gun crimes committed at school.

The 225 page report comes as part of an initiative called the National School Shield program.  One of the most notable pieces of the list is putting at least one armed officer at schools, and training and arming more on-campus guards.

The idea has some school safety specialists a little worried.

"You can't be reactive all the time.  You have to do something proactive," said Charles Korzenborn, sheriff of Kenton County, KY.

An 8-step plan from the NRA has plans to prevent gun violence at schools.  One of those components involves training and arming school resource officers, which is something Kenton County is already doing.

"We have actually about 5 in Covington schools.  All the other school districts in Kenton County are supplied either by Kenton County Police or the local police departments," added Korzenborn.

Another piece of that particular recommendation is training and arming school personnel, including administrators and teachers.

Lucy Riffle of the Kentucky Center for School Safety doesn't think this is a good idea.

"We are not in favor of arming administrators or teachers at all, laypersons.  Only professional law enforcement.  We're all in favor of putting them in schools.  We think every school ought to have one if they can, but we're not in favor of people that aren't professional law enforcement," said Riffle.

As a former school principal, Riffle says one of the glaring problems of arming school employees is a lack in training that police officers already have, and issues like where a gun would be stored in school.  But, law enforcement says there still needs to be more.

"Covington schools has an ROTC program.  Why not have those fellows carry?  Perfectly qualified.  There are people who would make good security that are not sworn law enforcement officers if they have the experience.  Prior service personnel willing to go through training and so on, I don't see a thing wrong with it," said Korzenborn.

The American Federation of Teachers has also weighed in.  They've called the proposal a "cruel hoax."  They say it fails to make schools, and children, safe.

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