Armed security officers are on the rise in US schools

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new federal study says armed security officers are becoming more prevalent at America’s schools as a heated debate rages over whether teachers and other school officials should carry guns.

According to data from a survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics and released Thursday, armed officers were present at least once a week in 43 percent of all public schools during the 2015-16 school year, compared with 31 percent of schools a decade before.

Last month’s mass shooting at a Florida high school put renewed focus on the role of armed school security guards after a video showed that a sheriff’s deputy didn’t enter the building where the attack was taking place.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said that schools should have the option to arm teachers.