‘Firearms instructor’ hired as school guard leaves handgun in student bathroom
A prosecutor in Lapeer, Michigan says, “No harm, no foul,” after a charter school took the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) advice and hired a armed security guard who promptly left his handgun unattended in a student bathroom.
Chatfield School co-directors Matt Young and Bill Kraly announced last week that they had hired retired Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. firearms instructor Clark Arnold as a security guard in response to the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“It’s a tremendous asset to the safety of our students,” Young told WNEM in a report that aired on Tuesday.
But by Wednesday, the school had admitted to The Flint Journal that the retired firearms instructor had made a “made a breach in security protocol” and left his unloaded handgun unattended in the school restroom “for a few moments.”
“The school has put additional security procedures in place that follow local law enforcement practices and guidelines,” a statement from Young said. “At no time was any student involved in this breach of protocol. We will continue to work on improving school security.”
The school director insisted that the incident had been reported to authorities, but said that any repercussions for the newly hired guard were “a personnel matter.”
Lapeer County Prosecutor Byron Konschuh expected that no criminal charges would be filed because no one was harmed.
“If you left a gun unattended and a toddler finds it and shoots and hurts someone, it could be some kind of reckless use of a firearm,” Konschuh explained,
He added that “[i]t’s almost like no harm no foul” because no students were injured in this case.
A 2008 resolution from the Lapeer Country Board of Commissioners indicated that Arnold had joined the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. in 1976 as a corrections officer before being promoted to a road patrol officer in 1978. He served as a Certified Firearms Instructor, Certified Taser Instructor and Pepper Spray Instructor before retiring on April 19, 2008 with 32 years of service.