EMPORIA, Kan. - One Kansas school district has already taken action, as the national debate over armed guards and teachers in schools continues.
On Friday, public school security guards in Emporia started to carry firearms. Jeff Illk is a familiar face at Emporia High, but this week he has a new accessory: a Glock 22 .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. Illk's job includes guarding the school and patrolling the hallways.
Illk says he is only allowed to use his gun in accordance with state law. "If there were an armed intruder. The times that I would use the weapon are very limited and I follow the state protocol."
Starting last Friday, Illk became one of two armed security guards in the Emporia school district. While officials began discussing the possibility of letting security guards carry guns in September, Principal Scott Sheldon said the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut sped up the process.
"We did speed up some of the training and information that we did with our kids in light of the event that took place. So we tried to calm them and try to make this a safe environment for them."
Sheldon says the change has been barely noticeable and any feedback has been positive.