Two former Upstate deputies, SRO's weigh in on arming teachers i - FOX Carolina 21

Two former Upstate deputies, SRO's weigh in on arming teachers in schools

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(File/FOX Carolina) (File/FOX Carolina)

Before the conversation started in the White House, Sam Manley, a former deputy who spent six months as a school resource officer, proposed the idea to arm teachers with guns while running for Greenville County Sheriff in 2016.

"Not every teacher is capable or willing to be armed but those that are and we need to reach out to the those teachers and those faculty to make sure that they are well trained and that they're able to carry out the job and that securing the school is part of their routine," said Manley.

That is not a skill Dexter Reaves, also a former deputy who spent more than six years as an SRO in Greenville County, thinks teachers need on their resume.

"They wear so many hats now. They're not only the teacher, they're the parent, they're the counselor, they're the disciplinary and to add something else to their plate would be a little too much and then also you're arming someone who is not qualified to use that weapon," said Reaves.

Manley said he thinks with the right training, including quarterly firearms training for teachers, it's something schools and SRO's could benefit from. 

"I can't cover all the doors at one time. We've got to make it to where if I've got more than one person who can respond to something like this, we can isolate and pin down the shooter before anything happens," said Manley.

Manley also added that training needs to be extensive to ensure teachers and staff know how to properly handle firearms.

"It's gotta be classroom, knowing how the weapons work. Going over shoot and don't shoot situations. Our number one priority is the safety of the students. Knowing how to keep the firearm out of the reach of the students," said Manley.

Reaves said his idea of back up means having more trained professionals with weapons in hand.

"I'm more in tune and support of placing more officers inside the schools. Officers are more trained, better trained, well trained and trained to handle certain situations and also to carry their weapon," said Reaves.

Reaves also said in addition to more officer, he believes there needs to be more attention on making sure the students feel comfortable to speak out when they spot red flags in schools.

"If there is a situation or a concern that arises, that person has someone that they can call and talk to, maybe a hotline that will keep them anonymous from giving a tip something they've seen, something they've heard," said Reaves.

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