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SPEAK OUT: Georgia Schools Chief Backs NRA Proposal on Armed Officers at Schools

A spokesperson for Barge likes the suggestion for schools. Share your thoughts.

The suggestion Friday (December 20) of having armed officers at schools as a deterrent to mass shootings found approval from Georgia School Superintendent John Barge.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Having a school resource officer would certainly be ideal,” Matt Cardoza, director of communications at the Georgia Department of Education, said Friday after a conversation with Barge. “It makes the school a safer place, but the state would have to pick up a significant part of that cost.

"Districts aren’t really in a position to pay for more than what they’re already struggling to pay for.”

Friday, a National Rifle Association executive called for Congress to foot the bill for armed guards at every school in the country.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

"We care about our president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents," LaPierre said. "Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol Police officers. Yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it, and exploit it."

According to the AJC, the cost for such security in Georgia would come to nearly $47 million per year, if the officers earned an average annual salary of $35,000. The state has 2,289 public schools in the 2011-2012 school year, according to a report from the Georgia Department of Education.

However, in Gwinnett, the school system already is struggling financially. Teachers are not getting scheduled pay raises in the current budget, and they are having to endure furlough days.

-- Do you agree with the NRA proposal for armed security in schools? Do you feel the Georgia Legislature should appropriate the funds for security? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

bernard j golden December 22, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I like to say say i am a gun owner i have been since i was 18 i am 59 now .and what happen at Sandy Hook is truly heartbreaken for me . its time to protect our children NOW !!!! not 6 months from now or wait for the people in DC . its time too let the teachers and school boards decide what best i have no problem with any teacher who's willing to get the proper training to carry a concealed weapon on them at school .. its really sad the we haven't learned a thing since Columbine H.S.
Carol Cain December 22, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I agree with you. How this issue gets swept under the rug for a later evaluation is beyond me. I am 60 and a gun owner also and to be honest I would not have wanted to see more guns around my children, let alone my now grandchildren. We have to make it harder for people to get these repeating guns. To me, that is something we can do now, make military type guns illegal from the primary source and the secondary source. We have 3 times more gun stores than grocery stores. How does that come to pass? It's so sad........
Ross Crawford December 23, 2012 at 06:29 AM
OK, for every idiot that thinks armed guards at schools is a bad idea, then let's do this: Remove all armed Deputy Sheriffs in Gwinnett's Administrative center/courthouse, and remove all State Troopers from the Capital in Atlanta (who are all armed with AR-15's). According to the comments of some above, someone can just drive a car into one of these buildings to harm people. Why have armed guards? Guess you think our children aren't as important as judges or legislators.
Steve Burns December 23, 2012 at 10:12 AM
Attention, everyone: We love comments on these and all articles at Suwanee Patch. However, this is a reminder to respect the other commenters, even if you disagree. Remember our Terms Of Use. Inappropriate comments will be deleted. http://suwanee.patch.com/terms
Patch Adams December 23, 2012 at 04:03 PM
The NRA thinks like an angry uneducated loner. No, guns in schools is not the answer. When will it end? How about guns and armed guards in children's Sunday schools? At the supermarket ? At restaurants? Let's start with a ban on assault weapons. Move on to better mental health assessment and treatment. A big push against violence in our society including a real tough stance and non-tolerance of abusive behavior . A peaceful society needs peaceful positions not an increase in weapons and presence of armed guards. We are much smarter than that. Aren't we?

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