HENRY COUNTY, Tenn.--Last week the National Rifle Association made a controversial recommendation; put a guard with a gun in every school across America.
The N.R.A. says doing so would help prevent tragedies like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. While not everyone agrees with the N.R.A.'s statement, the Henry County, Tennessee Sheriff says he'll make it happen, and soon.
Guards will be at every school in the Henry County district before students return to school after Christmas break.
This will end up costing taxpayers, but they'll likely only have to pay salaries for two extra officers.
There's already one officer at the high school, another at the junior high, and a third who alternates between the three elementary schools. That's what'll change. Two officers will be pulled from other duties and given full time assignments at individual elementary schools.
That way there'll be a full time officer at every Henry County School.
The sheriff says it's well worth it but not every parent agrees.
The sign on the door at E.W. Grove School says 'bringing a gun on school property is a felony'. Guns aren't allowed. But Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew is putting an armed officer at every county school in case someone breaks that rule.
"We want somebody on campus at all times.," Belew said.
But that means two fewer officers elsewhere, eventually Belew will ask the county for 90 thousand dollars a year to replace those deputies, he believes they'll say yes.
"I don't think that any county commissioner, school board member, or any parent in Henry County or citizen would disagree with having a school resource officer," Belew said.
Chrissy Bailey has three kids at Harrelson Elementary and thinks the sheriff's plan is a waste of taxpayer resources.
She says her kids are safe as it is, and doesn't want anyone with a gun near her children.
"I just don't like guns," Bailey said.
Other parents, like Carla Smith strongly disagree.
"You can't go too far to keep our kids safe, the last thing we need is to have another occurrence like Newtown," Smith said.
Belew also gave every officer this incident response booklet with fast facts and maps of every school so they can quickly respond to emergencies.
They'll also tour each school.
While all this costs time and taxpayer money, Belew says it's the right thing to do.
"They are our most valuable resource, they're our future," Belew said.
Belew says the officer will do more than serve as an armed guard.
Each one will direct traffic before and after school, serve as a role model and guidance counselor.
He says they'll also be present during after school activities and sporting events.
Belew says he's not reducing the amount of patrol time, but that he'll pull officers from the investigations unit, courtroom security, and administration.