New gun laws in Georgia raise cost concerns for school districts

Some districts have no money to hire resource officers

By Tim Pulliam, Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. - Georgia's new gun law will now allow school districts to decide if they want to train school employees to be armed with guns.

But some districts are on the fence about the issue.

The Glynn County School District already has armed school police. Now many rural districts will have to make a decision on whether or not they want guns in schools.

The Brantley County School District hasn't had a school resource officer on patrol for more than 15 years according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Greg Jacobs. He said the school district is one of the poorest in the state of Georgia.

"You have to have funds to pay a school resource officer," said Jacobs.

Now that Gov. Nathan Deal has signed Georgia's Safe Carry Protection Act into law, the Brantley School Board can select some teachers and staff to carry a gun inside the school. The idea being it would help prevent a repeat of the Sandy Hook massacre.

"I don't know it's necessarily something we need. We have great support and response from our local law enforcement and our sheriffs department, our city police. They do an outstanding job, supporting what we do and keeping a safe environment," said Jacobs.

Those who participate would have to follow these guidelines:

School boards would be responsible for training selected teachers. school boards would provide funding for training in marksmanship,  judgement pistol shooting, and review of current laws on self-defense.

Staff with military or law enforcement backgrounds could opt out of the training.

Other criteria they would have to follow include: an accurate account of all weapons and ammunition that will be carried by selected school personnel. Personnel with mental health issues are excluded to carry. Staff would have to be background checked. The gun must me locked away or secured on the selected person and they would be have to be licensed.

"There's not much guidance in the bill itself in what type of training this person would have to undergo, the minimum amount of training so obviously law enforcement officials go through training," said Jacobs.

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