PRC School Board says no to firearms and removes masks for school system during meeting
Monday's meeting of the Pearl River County School Board had a full house with people representing both sides of whether to allow educators to have a firearm on their person with an enhanced concealed carry permit.
During the public comments section of the agenda, a familiar face at most board meetings spoke in favor of allowing firearms on school grounds. Retired Marine Colonel and former employee of the school system, Todd Ryder, gave an example of how the Military had success with arming civilians to better protect themselves and their families from aggressors.
Later in the meeting, PRC High School Principal, Kimberly Alford, said the safety of all students has always been her first priority and additional guns being carried by teachers who may not have enough training to handle an active shooter situation could possibly do more harm than good.
After more than an hour of discussion, the board made its decision. With a vote of 3 to 2, Policy GBEN-B was officially voted down. Elaine Voss, Jerry Frazier, and Christian Burge voted against allowing firearms, while Jeff Jones and Mark Herring voted yes to allow. As a result of the vote, firearms will not be allowed on school grounds other than those carried by School Resource Officers. The policy could be re-visited next year.
In regards to a revised approach on COVID-19, the board approved the 2021-2022 School Re-launch plan with a notable addition. Students and persons entering the school will see that masks are “recommended “ and not required as has been seen for the past school year.
The board sited the drop in COVID -19 cases as the deciding factor to make the change.