Slaughter Community Charter School becomes first in La. to allow resource officers to carry rifles
SLAUGHTER, La. (WAFB) - The Slaughter Community Charter School Board unanimously approved a measure that will arm their school resource officers (SROs) with rifles.
The decision comes amid discussions around student safety, specifically after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
SCCS is the first school in Louisiana to allow officers to carry rifles, according to Ofc. Willie Brooks.
“[The principal] came to me, and said we have to increase the security at our school,” Brooks said.
Ofc. Brooks has more than 15 years of law enforcement experience and has spent the past 5 years as the school resource officer at Slaughter Community Charter School (SCCS). He’s also a trained active shooter instructor.
Brooks says this is an unprecedented change for the staff and more than 300 students at the school.
“We realized that you can’t take a handgun to a rifle fight, because most of the bad guys are coming into the schools with assault rifles,” Brooks said.
The change was welcomed by both parents and students, but it did come with a few questions.
“It’s strange, it’s unfortunate, or different, that it’s something you have to consider, but our goal is always the safety of our students and our staff,” Dr. Stephanie Goudeau, Principal at SCCS said.
Dr. Goudeau says they have not received any complaints or pushback since the change.
“He’s here for them, and now he’s able to protect them in a better way, and that’s just really comforting,” Emmie Chaney said, a parent of two students that attend SCCS.
Ofc. Brooks says he’s advocated for officers to start carrying rifles for years.
“It really irritated me because as an officer, and as an active shooter instructor, if somebody were to come on this campus and start shooting, you can’t run to your unit, a locked unit, to get your rifle and come back and engage a shooter,” Brooks said.
“One of my things, you can be a hero two different ways – either a dead hero or a live hero. Having this rifle on me now makes me feel a whole lot better if someone were to bring a rifle and hurt the students on this campus,” Brooks said.
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