Governor’s plan for school officials, guns won’t affect BCS

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

State officials announced last week that certain school administrators would be allowed to undergo specialized training and have guns on school campuses.

The announcement came from Gov. Kay Ivey, state schools Superintendent Eric Mackey and Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Hal Taylor.

Ivey called the program Alabama Sentry Program and noted that it would begin immediately with the goal of having administrators trained in time for the next school year, which begins in August.

The governor said that the Sentry Program is the best means to protect schools that do not have a school resource officer until the state Legislature can approve a plan to ensure that every school has a SRO.

“There are a lot of questions regarding the arming of school personnel that districts will be faced with,” said Brewton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Varner. “Fortunately for us, the city of Brewton has partnered with Brewton City Schools to provide armed police officers at each of our campuses. We greatly appreciate this commitment from Mayor (Yank) Lovelace and the city of Brewton. Because the governor’s directive only applies in schools where there is not an armed school resource officer, it will not affect Brewton City Schools.”

The new program will be voluntary and will require approval from local school boards and can only be used in schools that do not have SROs.

Ivey appointed the Securing Alabama’s Facilities of Education (SAFE) Council in March in response to the Parkland, Fla. mass shooting that killed 17 people at a high school on Valentine’s Day.