Bossier Superintendent on arming teachers: 'It would just be too much'

Bossier superintendent says arming teachers isn't the answer

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Bossier Superintendent Scott Smith says he rounded up a committee when the idea of arming teachers first gained national attention, wanting to find out what that would mean.

When it comes to School Resource Officers, Bossier Parish has at least one armed Bossier Sheriffs Deputy at each school in the parish, with two present at Airline High School due to the student population.

"We heard from people in the community, people within our system who have the expertise, and also with the SROs, and we believe that law enforcement and education are completely different careers," Smith said.

At a committee meeting on Tuesday, the board and other officials voted to add 5 more SROs to the force, which will be up for a final vote on Thursday.

"We don't believe that arming teachers is really the answer," Smith said. "We believe that giving our SROs further training, maybe even adding SROs is the way to go."

Smith says Bossier Parish is setting a gold standard for school safety, even recently being featured in an hour-long PBS/LPB special on the topic.

He believes asking teachers to take down a potentially armed shooter would be asking more than they signed up for.

"Arming a teacher would require a tremendous amount of training on that teacher's part, not only the training they're receiving to be an educator. It would just be too much, we believe," Smith said.

The next school board meeting in Bossier Parish will be held at 2719 Airline Dr. at 6 pm on Thursday.

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