Franklin Co. leaders discuss school safety plan - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Franklin Co. leaders discuss school safety plan

Franklin County leaders discuss school safety. (Source: WAFF) Franklin County leaders discuss school safety. (Source: WAFF)
FRANKLIN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - State lawmakers and Franklin County school leaders talked about school security at a meeting on Thursday morning. They didn't discuss whether volunteers in schools will be armed.

State senator Roger Bedford said if they do arm volunteers, that plan would be kept private because they don't want potential armed suspects to know who has a gun.

A South Carolina group, the Protection Institute, will train volunteers on how to be able to handle certain situations, ranging from an active shooter to a small fight.

The group said the focus is on more than just weapons.

"All the focus today is on guns and us arming people," said Patrick Sergott with the Protection Institute. "The only thing we are arming them with right now is knowledge and skills to handle situations."

Sergott, a former law enforcement officer, said one officer can't do it alone, and it takes people to protect people.

State representative Johnny Mack Morrow said they decided to go with this group because Franklin County can't afford to hire school resource officers. Superintendent Gary Williams said training to respond to situations without weapons is a must for any school employee. Even though his district has the additional authority to arm their employees, they will not release details on those employees.

"If and when we have an armed person on campus, that would be a very special person," Williams said. "It would be a person that can handle carrying a weapon emotionally as well as knowing how to use it, but that will be private. We don't want anyone to know who that person might be for the safety of that person, and really, everyone in school."

Williams said having a large number of people who are trained in tactical procedures allows them to provide students with a safe learning environment.

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