Madison County, in North Carolina, is taking a revolutionary approach to school safety. Its public school system and sheriffs office are collaborating on a security plan that includes a rifle safe stocked with at least one AR-15 and extra ammo in every school.
Sheriff Buddy Harwood cited the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas in a statement about the new policies, which affect six public schools within the Madison County system, according to the local Citizen Times.
“Those officers were in that building for so long, and that suspect was able to infiltrate that building and injure and kill so many kids,” he said. “I just want to make sure my deputies are prepared in the event that happens.”
Superintendent Will Hoffman and school officials have met regularly with law enforcement officials to discuss and implement new safety measures. They installed school camera systems that law enforcement agencies can monitor directly and the county’s school resource officers have been training with various instructors.
“We were able to put an AR-15 rifle and safe in all of our schools in the county,” Harwood said. “We’ve got extra magazines with ammo in those safes.”
“I hate that we’ve come to a place in our nation where I’ve got to put a safe in our schools, and lock that safe up for my deputies to be able to acquire an AR-15. But, we can shut it off and say it won’t happen in Madison County, but we never know.”
On August 17th, the school system will conduct a live scenario replicating a high-impact incident that will incorporate all of the district’s teachers. Harwood said school staff has already participated in two training sessions for the live scenario.