The Madison County school district in North Carolina has put AR-15s in every school in the district as a line of defense in case of a mass shooting in any of their schools.
“We were able to put an AR-15 rifle and safes in all of our schools in the county,” Sheriff Buddy Harwood told the Asheville Citizen-Times. “We’ve also got breaching tools to go into those safes. We’ve got extra magazines with ammo in those safes.”
The purpose of the breaching tools is to allow law enforcement officers to break into safes without having to wait for the fire department.
Harwood said he intends to “make sure my deputies are prepared,” citing Uvalde as an example of the importance of pre-planning. “Those officers were in that building for so long, and that suspect was able to infiltrate that building and injure and kill so many kids,” Harwood said.
He added, “I do not want to have to run back out to the car to grab an AR, because that’s time lost. Hopefully we’ll never need it, but I want my guys to be as prepared as prepared can be.”
Safes will be placed in the following schools, Brush Creek Elementary, Hot Springs Elementary, Mars Hill Elementary, Madison Middle, Madison High and Madison Early College High.
Madison County Schools Superintendent Will Hoffman said that his administration has liaised with Sheriff Harwood and his team throughout the entire process.
“Our partnership with law enforcement is a critical part of our daily preparations. We have to be vigilant and prepared for any possibility at any time. Our students have to feel safe in order to be safe,” said Hoffman.
Harwood accepted that some citizens may be uncomfortable at the prospect of AR-15’s being kept in schools, however he said it was necessary. “I hate that we’ve come to a place in our nation where I’ve got to put a safe in our schools, and lock that safe up for my deputies to be able to acquire an AR-15. But, we can shut it off and say it won’t happen in Madison County, but we never know,” he said.
He continued: “I want the parents of Madison County to know we’re going to take every measure necessary to ensure our kids are safe in this school system. If my parents, as a whole, want me to stand at that door with that AR strapped around that officer’s neck, then I’m going to do whatever my parents want as a whole to keep our kids safe.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CITIZEN-TIMES.COM
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