An Atlanta-area school district has decided to ramp up security measures as a means of protecting students. The Fayette County School System is setting up gun safes in every middle and high school to provide School Resource Officers (SROs) with an area to safely store their long rifles.
The safes will be located in the SROs' office and will be locked, have an alarm attached to them and video surveillance on them at all times. Not even the school's principal will have access to the firearm.
“It’s just another layer of protection,” Melinda Berry-Dreisbach spokesman for Fayette County Schools, told WXIA-TV
Although the schools have always had long rifles on campuses, they were stored in SROs' trunks. During an active shooting, that would make it more difficult for an SRO to run to their car, obtain the rifle and return to the scene.
The school district says they will be spending roughly $2,000 on the safe and security systems. Local law enforcement agencies are footing the bill for the firearms.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the school board voted unanimously in a 5-0 decision to move forward with the long rifle safes.
“I wish we weren’t having this conversation…but it’s a new reality and we have to prepare for it," Superintendent Joseph Barrow, Jr. said following the vote.