Caddo Sheriff Asks School Board To Consider Arming Teachers

Mar 2, 2018

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

SCHOOL THREAT-  The Shreveport Times  reports  a  14 year-old Southwood High School student was arrested Thursday after  he  made  threats  to  “Shoot up the school”.  Students reported the comments to the school's Resource Officer,   student was placed under arrest and booked into the Caddo Juvenile Detention Center.   Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator said his office will take all   threats seriously.  He  recently sent a letter to Caddo Parish School Board Members  to make a case for arming teachers at school.  I spoke with Sheriff Prator earlier this week to go over why he sent the letter.  PRATOR: "State law allows the individual school  boards to make the decision whether they can 

Sheriff Steve Prator, Caddo Parish, LA
Credit Courtesy: CPSO

have that or not.  I know Texas does it, other states do it or eyeing it.  All I'm saying is: let's look at doing this. And we will make sure extensive training is developed that will be unique to school systems and we'll provide that because I believe in it so much.  RED RIVER RADIO: Which agency would establish the training program requirments and about the screening program for teachers?     PRATOR: "The school board would have to determine the criteria which we could help them determine that.  I think psychological just like police officers get,  that would be necessary,  backgrounds woudl be necessary.  I also think it would be great to have prior military, prior law enforcement, things like that.  I'm not saying every teacher should have a concealed weapon, I'm not saying that by any means. I'm saying it'd be very select. I'm so tired of talking about gun control and that's great, that dialogue needs to happen.  So does psychological profiling for troubled students or psychological testing or review. So do better increase in background checks, all of those things --we're talking about months and months and years and years if they ever happen.  And there's so many guns out there right now that gun control that we finally get implemented in two years doesn't help anything as far as the number of guns now."  RED RIVER RADIO: So you mentioned that there other programs where teachers are carrying concealed weapons in schools like in Texas.  Have you taken a look at some of those programs and taken a look at some of the specifics?  PRATOR: " I've looked at the one in Texas and I hadn't really looked at it enough  to where I could discuss it well.  But they have a certification process and they have the continuing training  and it's unique to the school systems. RED RIVER RADIO:  A lot of  people have said they're uncomfortable with guns around their kids in school. What's your take on that?  PRATOR: "When kids go to the mall after school or go to a restaurant after school or go to a grocery store after school, people are walking around with concealed weapons  permits, legally carrying all throughout the place of business. It's not like kids are never around situations like this."  RED RIVER RADIO:  The notion of arming teachers in the classroom has sparked considerable debate. Any final thoughts?    PRATOR: "Let's talk about it in a civil manner and  get something concrete done  to save some of our kids  or take a chance on saving some of our kids while we work on the bigger issues."   

When asked about Sheriff Prator’s letter --- Caddo Parish School’s Superintendent Lamar Goree  told  the Shreveport Times  that  " educators should not be expected to provide armed  protection of their students. " but added that the district is willing to work with local law enforcement.