Thursday's statement from the National Association of School Resource Officers:
NASRO strongly recommends that no firearms be on a school campus except those carried by carefully selected, specially trained school resource officers (SROs), who are career law enforcement officers with sworn authority, deployed by employing police departments or agencies in community-oriented policing assignments to work in collaboration with schools.
There are several reasons for this recommendation:
Law enforcement officers who respond to an incident at a school could mistake for an assailant a teacher or any other armed person who is not in a uniform.
Anyone who hasn't received the extensive training provided to law enforcement officers will likely be mentally unprepared to take a life, especially the life of a student assailant.
Firearm skills degrade quickly, which is why most law enforcement agencies require their officers to practice on a shooting range frequently (as often as once per month), under simulated, high-stress conditions. Anyone without such frequent, ongoing practice will likely have difficulty using a firearm safely and effectively.
In addition to maintaining marksmanship, ongoing firearms practice helps law enforcement officers overcome the physiological response to stress than can reduce the fine motor skills required to accurately fire a weapon.
Anyone who possesses a firearm on campus must be able to keep it both ready for use and absolutely secure. Law enforcement officers receive training that enables them to overcome attempts to access their weapons.
Discharging a firearm in a crowded school is an extremely risky action, with consequences that can include the wounding and/or death of innocent victims. Law enforcement officers receive training and practice in evaluating quickly the risks of firing. They hold their fire when the risks to others are too high.
Rather than arming school faculty or staff, NASRO recommends that sufficient federal, state and/or local funding be made available to place at least one carefully selected, specially trained school resource officer in every school in the nation. NASRO further recommends that large schools be provided more than one SRO.
SROs provide a layer of security that cannot be achieved by persons who are not sworn officers. SROs build valuable, positive relationships with students, faculty and parents that often enable the SROs to obtain information on planned violent acts before they occur. In addition to improving security, SROs bridge gaps between youth and law enforcement, mentor students and serve as guest lecturers in classrooms