“Back to school means new teachers, new school supplies and new policies. For a private school in Bryant, those policies include training and arming some staff members.
The signs posted outside Arkansas Christian Academy in Bryant read: “Any attempt to harm our children will be met with deadly force.”
Perry Black, is the school administrator and pastor of Family Church in Bryant. He said he decided to arm several staff members following the shootings in Newtown, Conn.
“If you have any attempt to do harm to our children or those in our care, we will use bodily, deadly force to stop you if necessary,” he explained.
Black said he wants his school prepared should something terrible ever happen there.
“At some point we have to accept the reality of the world we’re living in, get out of denial and be prepared and do what it takes to protect our children,” he added.
Black said the armed staff have been trained by law enforcement officers and will be re-certified every 90 days, just like officers are required to do.
“We’re living in a real world where bad things happen to good people, and we just don’t want bad things to happen to the people in our care,” Black confirmed.
Under Arkansas Legislative Act 1390, private school staff and teachers associated with a faith-based organization are allowed to conceal and carry guns on school grounds, but Black said none of the armed staff at his school are teachers.
“My trained staff has a responsibility and that’s to allow the teachers to teach and the preschool staff to keep our children safe,” he said.
Black wants lawmakers to consider allowing public schools to do the same thing.
“If it’s not legal to have arms in our public schools, for our staff in our public schools, then change the laws and protect the children,” he added.
Pastor Black said he has five grandchildren who attend the school, so not only is he protecting his students, but his own family. Black said armed staff has been present in his Sunday church services for several years.”