By Laura Tillman/The Associated Press
JACKSON — Representatives of civil rights groups gathered on the steps of the Mississippi Department of Education building Thursday to protest a bill that would allow schools to arm employees.
Senate Bill 2659 would provide funding for School Resource Officers to police around primary and secondary schools. The House inserted language into the bill to allow local school boards to develop safety policies to arm teachers and other school employees.
Opponents of the bill include the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center. They say the bill would put students and faculty at greater risk of gun violence. School Resource Officers send students to jail instead of detention, according to the groups. House and Senate versions of the bill are being reconciled by members of the two chambers.