Governor Continues Call for More Resource Officers, Superintendent Pledges to Start Training to Spot Disturbed Students

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Governor Henry McMaster held a school safety program where agency officials, lawmakers, and educators all met to discuss solutions for ending school violence.

Governor Henry McMaster is no longer calling for teachers to be armed in schools. Instead, he is sticking to the recommendation he proposed in his state budget, saying every school in every district needs a school resource officer, asking lawmakers to allocate at least five million dollars to make sure this effort happens.

“The thing we must do and must do immediately is to have a trained law enforcement officer in every school anytime that school is open,” said McMaster. “Our priority is to stop these shooters. The best and quickest way to do that is to have a certified trained law enforcement officer on that campus and let the would-be shooters know it.”

Dillion High School Senior Jacorie McCall said three schools in his district do not have their own resource officer but he believes adding more deputies may not be the best solution.

“People are going to get on the school campus, that’s going to happen. That’s not going to just not happen just because you have an SRO, the big thing that I want to see is: I want to give the administration and the teachers one minute or two minutes to make sure the kids are protected,” said McCall.
State Superintendent Molly Spearman says her focus is on training teachers and students to be more aware of the warning signs of a troubled child, promising to get face-to-face and virtual training underway soon. “When they see these types of behaviors or anything that is suspicious, they will know what to do, how to report it and who to go to. So I will make that commitment to you, that is going to happen right away for us,” said Spearman.
Another option the governor talked about is hardening schools, adding metal detectors, sensors and fences, but he maintains that getting the resource officers would be less expensive and the best course of action.
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