Hutchinson talks National School Shield Task Force in Paragould - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Hutchinson talks National School Shield Task Force in Paragould

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PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- Former Arkansas Congressman Asa Hutchinson addressed the Paragould Rotary Club Wednesday regarding his National School Shield Task Force plan after the tragedy at Newtown Elementary School. 

Hutchinson is the director of the National School Shield program that deals with putting armed guards at every school.

Hutchinson presented two guiding points to his school safety plan.

"First of all every decision on school safety should be made by the local school district, it's not something that should be dictated by Washington," Hutchinson said. 

"Secondly, I think it's important to recognize that teachers should teach and others should protect."

Hutchinson said the right response is not to take firearms away from citizens but to focus more on security.

"We wanted to be able to protect school children consistent with our second amendment, and the way to do that is to increase security," he said. 

Hutchinson's plan calls for a wide range of safety measures.

"It deals with perimeter security, access control, locks on doors, all of the practical things that a school has to deal with," Hutchinson said. 

Debbie Smith is the superintendent of Paragould School District and says they are always looking for ways to improve the safety of their students.

"I thought the event today was tremendous," Smith said. "It's great information from Mr. Hutchinson. There is not a day that goes by that everyone in education does not think about the safety of their students."

Smith said she thought his proposed plan was very thorough and brings up new ideas regarding school safety.

"Arkansas actually helped shape these recommendations. I met with school superintendents all across Arkansas and teachers about what happening in the schools here," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said the plan also calls for training programs for resource officers who carry guns.

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