Posted: 1:10 pm Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Superintendent proposes volunteer security outfit at Ga. schools 

By Greg Bluestein

Georgia’s new gun law allows school districts to decide whether to arm teachers and other staffers. State Superintendent John Barge has a different idea aimed at protecting the state’s schools.

Barge, who is challenging Gov. Nathan Deal in the GOP primary, proposes a School Marshal Program that would provide onsite security and video surveillance during school hours and other campus events. He plans to start implementing the program in a handful of schools by the start of the next school year.

It’s part of a volunteer organization called the School Marshal Association, a nonprofit group which said its members include current and former police officers, firefighters and military members who have pledged to volunteer at least one day a month.

Here’s how Barge envisions it working:

The program would enlist volunteers who pass background checks and complete intensive training that would be determined by local authorities. The volunteers would be placed in schools that don’t already have a school resource officer – most elementary and middle schools don’t have one – and participation in the program is up to each school or district.

There have been 12 school shootings and 13 fatalities in Georgia since 1992, Barge said, and schools without resource officers are “vulnerable” to more violence. Said Barge:

“The most important action we can take as a state is to protect our children. In times such as these when education funding is limited, making sure each school has adequate security has become more difficult. That is one of the reasons I am in favor of the Georgia School Marshal program. It will help use provide real protection on every school campus in Georgia without increasing our budget.”

Barge raised concerns about the sweeping new gun law last week, questioning the provision that allows licensed gun owners to carry their weapons into bars. Barge said then:

“Being the child of an alcoholic, I know that alcohol causes people to do some not so smart things. I thought it was still in an opt-in situation for bars. I realize now that it was taken out, and I have got a big concern with that. I don’t know if that’s the wisest thing.”

27 comments
Bernie31
Bernie31

Seems to Me America has seen The Greatest Generation, now she is grappling with The Most Fearful Generation Of Americans and Not Sure What To Do. 350plus Million strong. they Now Fear other Americans as much or evven MORE, as those Who outside of her Borders.

Bernie31
Bernie31

John Barge this kind of Thinking and Reasoning with this ludicrous Volunteer Security Plan, is why You will NEVER BE Governor of The State Of Georgia  nor any other State.....NEVER...EVER!


Time to prepare for a REAL JOB!

honested
honested

Well at least we only have a few days left of barge's lunatic rantings attempting relevance.


Then I hope he has a day job after the end of the year.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

Dah centrist says, " I plan to apply (former military with a current carry permit) if it comes into being."

I have never been in favor of prayer in our public schools, but let those children pray, and god help them all, if that buffoon is allowed onto a school ground with anything more lethal than a nerf gun,

East Point's Own
East Point's Own

This idea is ridiculous, the costs of background checks(at least annually for each volunteer), what about required training are we going to have armed folks dealing with parents and their unique attitudes and cultural differences roaming the halls with no training in people skills?  What about firearms training? Will these guards be required to train with their weapons on a monthly basis at a minimum? Who's going to monitor/regulate all this? Who's going to pay for all of that training? 

If we are going to pay for all of that we might as well hire one more cop/resource officer to work each school. 

WHo's going to be liable when a volunteer gets into an altercation with a parent and someone gets shot un-necessarily?


As someone stated above the folks who want to have guns around the kids are probably not the people we want on the job.   Arming certain teachers or administrators would be a better idea since they SHOULD have a mindset that the kids come first and they would likely be more responsible in their dealings with conflict. 

coj
coj

Often when we give our advice, it's with the best of intentions. But the best of intentions with the wrong means produces the worst results.

RightistOnLeftOfCentrist
RightistOnLeftOfCentrist

Restore the 2nd Amendment Rights of the Cheeldrin and issue them Junior Carry Permits providing they get fingerprinted and background checked. The 2nd Amendment doesn't have an age limitation either, how dare you people tread on their rights!  Of course like all rights there must be some limits. I would propose that none could get the permit until the 4th grade or age 16 whichever comes sooner. And though I hate to limit them too much on their choice of weaponry as that goes against my instincts we have to take the little guys size into the mix so I think nothing bigger than a .22 will suffice.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Training costs will be an issue for State/Local governments and maybe private schools if not included in government funding.  Armed/trained volunteers based on the Sky Marshal and pilot federal marshal programs where it is unknown to the public when they are aboard planes (or in schools) would be a deterrent in itself.

There were similar hysterics when these programs were implemented, and there have not been Sky Marshals and armed pilots shooting innocents.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Watch business insurance rate soar,  liability is massive. 

DS
DS

Well, it's a nice idea, but the practicalities might prove too difficult. 

There are about 2,300 schools in Georgia. Most don't have security guards. Okay, let's assume 80%, or 1,840 schools need guards. Let's figure 5 volunteers per school --- might not be enough, but let's try to give this a chance. That's 1840 x 5 = 9,200 trained volunteers needed.

There are about 20,000 police officers in Georgia. So we'd need 46% of all police officers to volunteer at schools.

I think it might be tough to keep such a program up and running. Nice election-year gesture, though.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

While I could care less about how Barge feels about the popular new gun law, his idea of volunteers via the School Marshal Association has merit.  Maybe Governor Deal and the legislature will adopt it.  Barge will be around through the November election until the end of his term - not sure what authority he might have to implement this on his own.  

Leaving schools as soft defenseless targets for deranged individuals has been stupid for years since copy cat murderers have been preying on them.

DontTread
DontTread

This is a great idea.  It will be a better idea if he doesn't disclose which schools will receive the volunteers.

NWGAL
NWGAL

People who actively want to carry guns around children are ipso facto not the people you want to have armed around children. Maybe a wiser solution is to have a dress code which includes Kevlar vests and helmets?

honested
honested

Since barge will neither be State School Superintendent nor Governor at the 'start of the next school year', by what authority would he implement this pointless plan?

Marshal Program
Marshal Program

@honested  


This is not a Democrat or Republican problem. It is not a question of will there be another school shooting in Georgia, the questions are how many will occur and how many innocent children and staff will be murdered? To do nothing would be wrong. To find every reason why something will not work is not the American way. The School Marshal program is not about putting armed people on the school grounds. It was established to work on the problem instead of ignoring it and hoping that it does not happen again.

The School Marshal program has been in the works for the past several months and the main focus is to figure out a solution to prevent this from happening again in a Georgia school. If a home has a security sign in the yard, the statistics show that the criminal will go to the house without a sign. The idea behind the School Marshal program is similar to the Air Marshals, some schools might have a marshal on the grounds, and some may not. When you fly on a plane, do you know who the marshal is? Do you really know if a marshal is on the plane or not? The same would be true with the School Marshal program.

America is a volunteer nation. No other country on earth is as giving and kind as the American people. Over the last several months, the program has been shown to dozens and dozens of Police Officers, Mayors, School Superintendants, Principals, Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, and Military personnel. There have been Police Chiefs and Sheriffs of counties that said they would volunteer a day or so a month. They know the problem is real and everything possible needs to be done to stop this from happening again in a Georgia school.

Every second counts in tragic situations. The local law enforcement is stretched from one end the city and county to another. They work hard to do all that they can to protect Georgia's schools. Another issue that needs to be addressed is video surveillance. Each school should have video surveillance that covers the entire outside campus, and throughout the entire school. Due to the already strained budgets, the school districts cannot afford to purchase and install the much needed equipment. What if the parents, the PTA, and even the local businesses did fund raisers to purchase the equipment? After the equipment is purchased, then a volunteer in the community or a parent that is qualified would install the system. The system would then be linked with the local law enforcement. If the school were attacked, the officers would know where the perpetrator is, how many weapons, and would know how to best neutralize the situation.

Once again, the School Marshal program is not just about putting armed people on the school grounds. Some districts will not even participate, but the perpetrators will not know which school does and which school does not. It is all about the perception, a way to discourage and deter as much danger as possible.  

Texas wrote into law on January 1st of this year the Texas School Marshal program. The program allows teachers, janitors, and others to volunteer to be a marshal. We are trying to figure out a better solution than to pass another mandate.

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, ok, we're going to let you apply apply to become a School Marshal.  If you were by some miracle able to make it past the psychological exam we would have to ask for one very important condition, you will only be allowed to carry one bullet and it must be kept in your shirt pocket. 

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

Yep and that's a big reason it won't happen.  Insurance companies will refuse to insure this folly at any price.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@DS- You missed the part about also having former firefighters and military members being candidates.  I plan to apply (former military with a current carry permit) if it comes into being.

honested
honested

@DontTread  

No reason to hide it.

It will be the schools where children are accidentally shot while walking to class!

honested
honested

@Marshal Program @honested 

Wouldn't it make more sense to ensure adequate entry security at all schools?

I realize that has real costs and might (HORRORS) require a tax increase, but so what?

This whole idea smacks or republican 'feel good, do nothing' plans from Georgia and around the Country.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

This is a screen name stealing liberal sock puppet.  While it shows his/her lack of integrity and ethics, it also shows how far at least this one leftist will go with such "debate" tactics and those who won't condemn them.

Scum.


DS
DS

No, I read that part. I just don't believe many fire fighters would volunteer as security guards. They don't have uniforms or training for that, and it would be BYO guns-and-ammo. A few might, but unrealistic to assume many.

A few retired military might volunteer, though. But we're still a long, long way from a viable number.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@The_Centrist  No he didn't.  You're insane if you think there are enough volunteers at all times to keep this a freebie.  Is any other state doing this?  It's not exactly an Einstein moment.  If it was this easy and free, every state would have implemented this decades ago.  The costs would be enormous.  Unless, you also FORCE all police officers and others to volunteer, but that ain't happening.  Someone has to pay for the training as well.


And what about private schools?  You don't care about those kids, since their parents are paying huge expenses?  You just think they can afford an additional $1000 tuition, and if not, then they deserve to be without?  How far does your heart expand?


But sure, if we could it scot free, then it would be a great idea to have an armed guard at every school.  It would also be cool if I could sprout wings and fly.

Marshal Program
Marshal Program

@honested @Marshal Program  


The ultimate goal is to have security at all of Georgia's schools. The schools that currently have an SRO on premise are safer than the ones without an SRO. If budgets would allow an SRO at all of Georgia's schools, there would be no need for the School Marshal program. This issue is massive and there are no one size fits all or cookie cutter fix to this problem. Each school district, broken down to each school could do different things to increase the safety at their school. Parents worry when their child gets on the bus and worries until the bus delivers them back home. All we are trying to do is to work towards a safer place for children to learn and educators to teach. As I said in the last post, I can assure you this is not a Democratic or Republican issue. Our children are not safe and we all need to do all that we can to correct the problem. The ideas and solutions will come from creative Georgian's all working on the problem. The School Marshal program is just to get the ball rolling. 

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@The_Centrist  You are the screen name stealing "conservative" sock puppet, who stole the original name.  It really shows the lack of integrity and ethics on your part, and more importantly that you are a hypocrite.  Want proof? You had to use the "_" in your name because the original name was taken.


Catfish...

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

No uniforms needed, and concealed weapons.  The idea is for bad guys not to know whether the school is defended with a weapon.  Any number more than zero is viable.  The actual participation rate should not be made public.  The volunteers could be doing something else like proctoring a study hall, substitute teacher, in the library/ guidance office/front desk, PTA board meeting, working on a project for the principal, etc.  (Janitors probably wouldn't want to lose any days, but I'd push a broom, empty trash, mop or wax a floor one or a few days a month for free).