An armed guard hired to protect a Michigan school in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting committed a “breach in security protocol” when he accidentally left his gun in a student restroom.
Clark Arnold, a retired Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department firearms instructor, was hired last week in reaction to the Newtown shooting.
“It’s a tremendous asset to the safety of our students,” Chatfield School co-director Matt Young told WNEM after the hiring. By adding an armed guard, the school was following the NRA’s prescription for stopping school shootings — and accidentally revealed a fatal flaw in the “more guns!” argument.
Just a week into his tenure at the job, Young admitted to the Flint Journal that Arnold left an unloaded weapon in a restroom “for a few moments.”
“The school has put additional security procedures in place that follow local law enforcement practices and guidelines,” Young said in a statement. “At no time was any student involved in this breach of protocol. We will continue to work on improving school security.”
Young insisted that no children were exposed to the handgun, and declined to comment further on the incident.
Tris Fritz, a parent with children in third and fifth grade at the school, told the Journal that Arnold’s error was “kind of a big mistake.”
“I think that some kid might not think it’s a real gun. They might think it’s a toy. They’re going to be curious, that’s the nature of a child,” he said.
“I know people are human and they make mistakes,” Fritz added. “That’s kind of a big mistake.”
Lapeer County Prosecutor Byron Konschuh is declining to prosecute Arnold over the incident, as nobody was hurt. “It’s almost like no harm, no foul,” Konschuh said.
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