The Cobb County Board of Education voted 4-2 to pass the measure intended to improve security in Georgia’s second-largest school district.
“This policy gives us other opportunities to enhance and increase the number of school resource officers in our district,” Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said during the district’s board meeting.
Ragsdale emphasized he doesn’t support arming teachers: “I have said from the start: I am not in favor, nor do I support, arming teachers in the classroom.”
Under the new policy in Cobb County, employees who aren’t teachers can volunteer to carry weapons on school grounds. No one risks termination or retaliation for refusing, the policy states.
Employees who choose to carry a weapon must be trained before being authorized by the school district superintendent to do so on school grounds, the police states. Training includes pistol shooting, marksmanship and review of current laws on the use of force for self-defense or others, it says.
Further, armed staff must be licensed under state law to carry a firearm and should pass annual criminal background checks, it states.
Carrying weapons will be permitted on school grounds or at school-sponsored functions. Concealed carry is allowed if the weapon is on the person and not in a purse, briefcase or bag.