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Ark. district arming more than 20 teachers, staff

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By ANDREW DeMILLO
Associated Press

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. (AP) - When fall classes start in one Arkansas school district, more than 20 district employees will be walking the hallways carrying concealed weapons, making use of a little-known Arkansas law that allows licensed, armed security guards on campus.

After undergoing 53 hours of training, the teachers, administrators and other employees will be considered guards.

Clarksville, a community of 9,200 people about 100 miles northwest of Little Rock, isn't known for having dangerous schools. But Superintendent David Hopkins said he faced a flood of calls from parents worried about safety after the attack last year at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

State officials aren't blocking Clarksville's plan, but Arkansas Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell is opposed to the idea of arming teachers and staff. He prefers to hire law enforcement officers.

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