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Report for McCrory calls for arming school resource officers

There were several unsuccessful bills last session in Raleigh that proposed to put more weapons on school campuses, including by arming teachers and volunteers with weapons.

The thinking behind some of the legislation was that students will be safer if there are more guns around.

But late last week, Gov. Pat McCrory’s safe schools initiative released its first report, and it calls for arming school resource officers but no one else. School resource officers are law enforcement personnel.

“The key finding here is that when properly trained and equipped, SROs are thought to be the only professionals who should be required or permitted to carry weapons on school campuses,” the report concludes.

The Safer Schools Task Force includes 80 recommendations.

Appearing at Hoggard High School in Wilmington, McCrory received the report, which called for greater education efforts to head off bullying and cyber-bullying, for encouraging schools to create more effective alternatives to out-of-school suspension, for assessment of the physical layouts of the schools, for better mental health treatment and for hiring more school resource officers.

McCrory created the task force in March when the mass shooting in Connecticut was on many parents’ minds.

A Center for Safer Schools has been created in the Department of Public Safety. Money has been appropriated for additional school resource officers in elementary and middle schools and for panic alarm systems.

Schools are also being encouraged to hold lock-down drills and operate anonymous tip lines to receive information about internal and external safety risks.

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