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Some parents warming to school resource officers packing heat

Posted at 6:47 PM, Dec 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-21 19:10:51-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Area parents and school leaders are weighing in after the horrific violence in Newtown, Connecticut, prompted the most powerful gun lobbyist group in the country to break its silence.

The National Rifle Association rejected a new push for stricter gun control on Friday, saying that the best way to keep students safe is to put armed police officers in every school. [RELATED: NRA: Every school must have armed police officers]

Area parents with children in elementary school talked to Sandra Jones about the hot topic Friday.

Mother Erin Carter said she thinks armed officers would give victims a fighting chance if a copycat targeted another school. 

"I never even considered the need for it, but now it seems that we're at that place," parent Scott Storey said. "And so, we should respond accordingly,” 

Armed resource officers are already posted inside every Richmond public middle and high school. However, they are not posted in elementary schools.

Richmond school board member Kim Gray wants the community to look at the complete picture and not rush to judgement.

"I don't know that it's absolutely necessary to have a police officer based at every school," Gray said. "I think that when we have incidents of this nature then we increase our security in and about our schools.”

Gray also said that since the Newtown shooting, Richmond Public Schools has stepped up police presence in and around every school building.

However, Gray said she does think if more officers are mandated, that the school system should not have to cover that cost.

"If it's a federal mandate or state mandated it should come from their budgets -- and it should be imposed on our local school budget,” Gray said.

Gray also pointed out that many new school board members had questions about school safety and security during a meeting this week. She said the board will continue to discuss the hot button issue in January.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Connecticut elementary school shooting