9OYS Education Watch

Should a school administrator be armed at every Arizona school?

CREATED Dec 27, 2012

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  • Attorney General Tom Horne proposes administrators could be trained with a computer screen and fake electronic gun.

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is proposing to arm and train an administrator at every school, but one expert says it's not that simple.

Warrior School founder, Jeffery Prather, is a former army special forces and DEA special agent. He currently trains teachers and administrators to shutdown a gunman in a school. He said most people, including children, can be trained to use a gun in a crisis situation.

Prather shows KGUN9 reporter Valerie Cavazos a semi-automatic gun -- "basically the same type of weapon that our military is carrying overseas." And it's the same type of weapon used by the gunman in Connecticut. Cavazos asked, "They see a gun like this. How then do (administrators) have the inner fortitude to fight back against something like that?" Prather replied, "That's where tactics and strategy become involved."

Horne said that computerized training that creates realistic scenes and scenarios is sufficient to ensure student safety. Prather said, "That's called decision shooting, no shoot scenerios, is a very important point of training and it's actually required for decision shooting for law enforcement these days, but that doesn't take the place of firing a real weapon at all."

And without proper training, Prather says administrators may not develop the inner fortitude and skills to rise up and fight back. "Not every school principal is going to be physically fit, emotionally prepared, psychologically prepared to carry a weapon."

Prather says other staff members, who have prior military or law enforcement training, might be a better choice.

Not everyone is keen on the idea of guns on school grounds. The National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers issued a joint statement saying they're opposed to any plan that would arm school faculty.

Horne said that if his plan is passed schools would not be required to designate an armed staff member, but the option would become available.