John Gray, superintendent of Mayflower schools, said the district will continue to weigh its options and collect information after hearing Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock’s proposal for arming administrators at Monday night’s school board meeting.
Gray said the school board heard about a 10-minute address from the sheriff, which was followed by several questions from board members and school administrators. The questions and concerns covered a “broad range,” including the positives and potential negatives of the proposal, along with a possible “change in school culture” that might come with arming administrators, the superintendent said.
“No decisions were made on a next move,” he said. “We’re still processing and looking at what is happening in other places.
“This is a new approach,” Gray said. “It hasn’t been done anywhere, so we’re still collecting information.”
Gray said a date for further discussion was not set by the board, but he believes more discussion on the matter will occur.
The school board expressed interest in meeting with Shock, after learning he and Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland visited with school administrators over the summer, and discussed Shock’s plan.
The school board also discussed, with the sheriff, the possibility of adding a full-time school resource officer, which would be provided by the sheriff’s office.
Shock said discussion included the district funding the SRO’s salary, while the sheriff’s office would be responsible for equipment, fuel costs, training and other requirements.
Shock said the plan would need more discussion, but said he would do everything he could if the board moved forward with the idea.
Gray said the district has also had discussions with the Mayflower Police Department about adding a full-time SRO. The district currently has one part-time SRO, which is provided by the sheriff’s office.
Gray said no matter the decision on arming administrators, the district is “keen” on adding a full-time SRO.
“It’s something we would like to do,” he said. “We’re trying to get it in place.”
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