GREENSBORO - When it comes to stun guns, some school board members and law enforcement officials can only agree to disagree.
A two-hour meeting on Wednesday led to no decisions and little new information on the topic of school officers armed with stun guns .
Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes , High Point police Chief Jim Fealy and Greensboro police Assistant Chief Gary Hastings met with the Guilford County Board of Education to talk about stun guns and school resource officers.
The school board voted in November to meet with the sheriff and police chiefs to discuss whether school officers should carry stun guns.
Most at the meeting said they left feeling that little was achieved.
"I would hesitate to say there was a great deal accomplished," Fealy said.
School board members who are opposed to the use of stun guns argued the weapons can be lethal and questioned how much and what type of training officers receive.
"I suggest to you that the science and the data suggest it's only a matter of time that an officer is going to use a Taser on a student and that child is going to die," said board member Sandra Alexander.
To date there have been four instances when an officer used a stun gun on a student . Two of those students were older than 17. The most recent case involved a 15-year-old girl at Ragsdale High.
The law enforcement officials said their officers receive extensive training, and they reiterated that schools can be dangerous places, recounting incidents of students bringing weapons on campus and a riot at High Point Central.
School board members who are supportive of stun guns recounted similar incidents and objected to Alexander's use of the word "we" when talking about the desire to remove stun guns from schools during Wednesday's meeting and a meeting last week with county commissioners.
"I don't know that I've ever said that, and I don't know that this board has ever voted on that," said board member Kris Cooke who supports arming school officers.
The school board is weighing the feasibility of replacing school resource officers with security guards in middle schools.
Last week , several county commissioners pressured the school board to consider reducing the number of officers.
The school board contracts with three agencies for 39 officers at a cost of more than $2.9 million, of which $1.6 million comes from the county.
Barnes and Fealy cautioned the school board about using security guards.
Barnes said his officers go through 656 hours of training . Security officers are required to undergo much less, he said.
"For the safety and security of your children, I think they'd be much better off" with a sworn officer, Barnes said.
Contact J. Brian Ewing at 373-7351 or brian.ewing @news-record.com
nThe board meets with law enforcement officials for two hours but fails to reach a consensus.