Arizona DoE Announces Plan for Armed Officers in Schools
- By Matt Jones
- February 15, 2023
The Arizona Department of Education recently announced plans to redirect funding from grants to place armed officers on every campus in the state, according to local news. State superintendent Tom Horne ranked it among his top priorities, saying, “We need to have somebody who can shoot back. There are no massacres at police stations because they know they can defend themselves.”
Horne announced a $90-million grant program that K–12 schools can use to hire either counselors or police officers. “If a school does not have an officer, they can only use that grant to get one,” he said, according to local news. Of the grant money, $30 million is reserved for renewing councilor contracts underneath previous grants, and $60 million is reserved for hiring school resource officers.
Horne referenced last year’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, as a major factor in the new program. “If, God forbid, there is an attack and kids are killed, the parents will never recover,” he said. “Those parents in Texas will never recover.”
Some local district leaders have expressed doubt about police presence in every school in the state. “The decision should be left to the local school districts and their governing boards because they know their communities best,” said Tolleson USHD board member Devin Del Palacio. “For us, we need counselors to help students get through those difficult moments in their life. [That] is more important than adding law enforcement to our campuses.”