February 13, 2013 10:31:02 AM
In a unanimous decision, the Starkville School District Board of Trustees passed the first reading of recommended changes to its use-of-force policy, giving officers on campus the right to use deadly force, if necessary.
The changes to the policy were recommended by the Mississippi Department of Education.
Additions to the district policy include the definitions of deadly and non-deadly force, and guidelines on how much training must be completed before a school officer is allowed to carry a firearm.
It also states that officers are not allowed to carry any firearm on campus other than the one provided to them by the school.
School officers who are off duty are allowed to carry their weapon as long as they have an identifying badge in a visible spot.
Board Attorney Dolton McAlpin said he believes the district is safer with a policy than without one, from a legal standpoint. He added that he had read through the policy and that everything seemed in order.
The revised policy will be posted on the district's website.
The board will make a decision on whether to accept the revisions after they receive some feedback.