Magazine Schools Superintendent Brett Bunch said reaction to the news that teachers and or other staff members will be trained and armed in the near future has been only positive.
Actually, Bunch said, up from the nine previous requests to be one of those trained, there are now 14 members on the two campuses who have offered to be one of the trainees.
The superintendent said last week the school board would make the decision about the 12 employees who would be selected for the training. Otherwise there will be no revelation as to who is carrying a firearm. Jon Hodoway of School Training Services said in his presentation to the board the information is not discoverable through the Freedom of Information Act.
The Magazine School Board approved a $20,000 contract with School Training Services to train up to 12 teachers along with the school’s resource officer. Bunch said then the training could begin as soon as October.
Hodoway said his company provides the staff members with 60 hours of training which he characterized as “narrow but deep.”
The training, Hodoway said, is largely objective but does include subjective scenario situations, which are conducted in the school itself, to gauge the staff members’ performance and decision making when responding to an active shooter on the campus, as well how to deal with law enforcement responding to the situation.
However, before any training can occur, the teachers and staff are required to undergo drug screening and a psychiatric evaluation at the cost of the district or individual.
There has also been discussions about a possible group training between Magazine and Booneville personnel.
Booneville Schools Superintendent Trent Goff, who was at the presentation made by Hodoway and who broached the subject in his first meeting as the school superintendent in July, said last week he has not been able to schedule Hodoway to make a presentation to the school board her. Goff did say he is certain the presentation will not be at the board’s Sept. 11 meeting.
A post following the July school board meeting on the Booneville Democrat’s Facebook page generated plenty of conversation on both sides of the issue and drew one couple to last week’s school board meeting, though the subject was not on the agenda.