MADISON COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – A school district in North Carolina said they plan to arm their school resource officers with AR-15’s this school year.

According to officials, all 6 schools in Madison County will have an AR-15 inside the school. The plan is for the school resource officer to use it, if they ever need it.

“We’ve sometimes seen that having just the deputy armed with a handgun, isn’t enough to stop these animals. That’s why I’ve decided to arm all of my school resource officers with an AR-15 rifle, optics and accessory,” said Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood.

Harwood made that statement back in June.

In the social media post, he said the money being used to purchase the rifles and accessories was donated by community members.

“God forbid that anyone ever come to our schools to cause harm, but if they do come to my schools, I want my officers, my resource officers, to have the ability to meet violence with violence,” said Harwood.

Some people in the area are for it.

“I think it’s awesome, because nowadays, the way it’s gotten with the school shootings, and the things that are happening, you just don’t ever know now,” said Teresa Daniels.

“If there was a shooter that’s going to walk into that high school, right up there on the hill, they’re going to think twice before trying it,” said Mason Fisher.

That doesn’t mean everyone in the county agreed.

“If it can get into the wrong hands, then it can go bad,” said Charity Soles.

Charity Soles just graduated from the district. She said she’s glad she is out so she doesn’t have to worry about the decision.

“I mean it’s a pretty high-powered gun. So, I feel like it could be dangerous,” said Soles.

Others who didn’t want to go on camera, agreed with her.

Leaders said this is their way to keep kids safe following the massacre in Uvalde, Texas.

“I think it’s good that they’re taking that step to make sure our children are protected,” said Daniels.

“Don’t bring that foolishness to Madison County, because it won’t end well,” said Sheriff Harwood.

In his post, the Sheriff also said these officers will receive numerous hours of additional training.

The school district provided a statement:

“The Board of Education, the County Commission and the Madison County Sheriff have worked

together to fund School Resource Officers in each of our schools. This has always been our highest

safety priority. We have also worked to fund digital camera systems at each school, additional

counseling, and social worker support at each school and site-based therapy to create safe school

environments at each of our schools. We have now seen senseless school shootings over and over

again across our nation. As superintendent of schools my highest priority is the safety and welfare

of our students and staff. I believe in our School Resource Officers; they build strong relationships

with students, and they are highly trained in the use of firearms and de-escalation strategies. They

have my trust; the trust of our Board of Education and they have earned the public’s trust. They

need to be able to take decisive action that includes all appropriate steps to neutralize an assailant,

should a critical incident occur.”

Dr. Will Hoffman, Superintendent for Madison County Schools.