According to the national K-12 School Shooting Database, there have been 306 school shootings in 2023, which has surpassed the record-breaking number of 305 from last year. To try to increase safety for children, many districts have turned to school resource officers for an extra layer of protection on school grounds.

Officer Aaron Moore is one of them.

“I love working with kids," said Moore, a school resource officer and Saratoga Springs police officer. "I have kids of my own. I’m a father and knowing that I can go into the school and make it safer, it was something that was right up my alley.”

He has many different tasks to make his school a safer place.

What You Need To Know

  • In today’s world, school safety has grown into a priority

  • In a survey done by the RAND Corp., 20% of teachers said if they were armed, it would make schools safer, while 54% said it would make schools less safe

  • Some schools have school resource officers (SROs) as a way to help increase safety

“Just from the physical aspect of just being here, my police car is outside. I’m here. I’m in uniform,” Moore said.

He responds to emergencies, monitors who is in the building and teaches the kids about their own safety. He’s taken multiple different trainings to serve as an armed guard on school grounds, including a state-mandated, two-week school resource officer program, as well as several different crisis intervention trainings that he said really helped him with the kids.

In today’s world, increasing school safety has become a top priority. In a survey done by the RAND Corp., 20% of teachers think if they were armed, it would make schools safer, while 54% said it would make schools less safe.

Officer Edward Ashley is a school resource officer for high schoolers.

“If you advertise places as gun-free zones, then they open themselves up to becoming more targets,” said Ashley, school resource officer at Columbia High School.

He works at a school that experienced a shooting in 2004. The assistant principal tackled the shooter to the ground, and no one was killed.

Ashley wasn’t working for the school at the time. He believes arming teachers could make schools safer.

“I wouldn’t ever say it would be something someone should have to do, or be required to do unless they’re willing to take that responsibility,” Ashley said.

As someone who’s allowed to have a firearm on school grounds, Moore said it might be a lot for teachers to handle.

“There’s a lot of training and responsibility that goes into carrying a firearm. Not that I'm saying people wouldn’t be responsible but the teachers, their responsibility is to help the students learn and to add something like that onto their plate. It's a lot,” Moore said.

He said the best remedy to arming teachers is to have a school resource officer in every school.

At the end of the day, Ashley and Moore just want the classroom to be a safe space for their kids to thrive.