One in four K-12 public schools in Alabama don’t have a school resource officer or security officer, according to a recent survey from the Alabama State Department of Education.
Approximately 375 schools (out of around 1,500 schools statewide) could choose to participate in the Alabama Sentry Program, which allows administrators for schools without an SRO to keep a firearm in a secured safe on campus for use during an active shooter incident, AL.com reports.
The program was created by Governor Kay Ivey in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting last February. Ivey said that having an SRO in every school is preferable, but until that goal is reached, the Sentry Program provides a way for administrators to keep schools safe.
Press Secretary Daniel Sparkman told AL.com that most of the schools without a dedicated SRO or security officers are likely those in rural areas or with large numbers of students in poverty, lacking the local tax revenue to pay for an SRO.