Alabama To Begin Training Teachers

The voluntary Alabama Sentry Program would allow administrators in the state’s public school systems to have a gun on campus once they meet requirements.

Established last week by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, through administrative action under current state law, the program works with the Alabama State Department of Education and state police to establish a framework to help add armed staff to schools that lack a resource officer. Backers argue that, unlike teachers, school administrators have “complete access to their schools” not just an individual classroom, thus allowing them to be responsible for all of the students on campus and better placed to confront an active shooter.

“The Alabama Sentry plan is a reasonable and measured approach to provide an additional tool for schools without a resource officer,” said Ivey after pointing out that the current summer vacation would be an ideal time to stand up the program. “With the unfortunate continued occurrence of school violence across our country, we cannot afford to wait until the next legislative session.”

Under the program, a volunteer faculty member with a school administrator certificate and concealed carry permit would have to be approved by their local superintendent, school board and county sheriff to become a sentry. Commissioning of the administrator as a reserve sheriff’s deputy, tasked only with responding to an armed intruder, would occur after training and passing drug, mental-health and stress screenings. Faculty serving as sentries would have to use a weapon from an approved list and be issued a distinctively-marked ballistic vest. The gun would be stored in a biometrically-secured safe on school grounds.

Names of those serving in the program will not be made public and officials can terminate a faculty member’s partication for violation of the guidelines or if a dedicated school resource officer is hired. The Alabama Sheriff’s Association, state Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor and Dr. Eric Mackey, Alabama Superintendent of Education, support the program.

“Schools are sanctuaries of learning and, as such, they must be safe places for our children to learn, knowing that the adults around them are watching out for their safety and security,” Mackey said. “With recent events around our country, now is the time to act.”


  • Daniel from TN

    An intelligent, logical, common sense approach to potential danger in schools.
    This means Liberals will do everything in their power to block it or repeal it.

  • JoAnn Graham

    They need to secure schools with security like news studios have with doors and armed guards…so no one can get into their buildings without searches and Valid ID and All students screened like going into a courthouse..

  • dcartmill

    Overly cautious . Volunteer teachers could be armed ,trained in the proper use ,and annually qualify on a range. Part of their training is proper handling and storage . To secure the weapon in a bio metrically-secured safe on school grounds.makes the defensive weapon ( and are we talking one weapon ) just a little too hard to get. Even if all of the teachers are aware of the location and how to access the weapon ,protocol probably insists they lock down their classroom. Arm them and get concealed carry for all of them . In most cases that I have read about ,an individual started shooting in a classroom. Immediate return fire from a trained ,qualified teacher is the answer. Waiting for someone to access the gun or guns at some remote location ( remote from this classroom ) would allow the shooter to target many students. Let there be armed security at as many locations as possible. Make this known to all .