All 25 schools in Wilson County now have armed guards during the day.
Officer Jarrod Buhler has only been on the job at W.A. Wright Elementary School in Mount Juliet for three days.
Even though Buhler is new, the kids at W.A. Wright are already getting used to him, and so are the parents.
“I feel it's great,” said parent Anna Nangle said, adding, “It's keeping the kids safe and he's really good with the kids. He's already introduced himself to the kindergarten kids and made it so he's not scary to them.”
Officer Jarrod, as he's known with the kids, will be at the elementary school every day.
He will walk the halls, talk to students, check security around the building and keep an eye on things.
All new officers in schools will have the same training as any new police officer or sheriff's deputy. They will be trained in how to spot warning signs in children's behavior.
“Just knowing that his presence is in the building is positive for the parents, students, teachers and staff,” said computer teacher Jennifer Yokom.
Sgt. Scott Moore overseas the School Resource Officer program through the Wilson County Sheriff's Office.
“School violence is on the rise. It's happening at every level of education, all the way from elementary schools to the college level,” Sgt. Moore told Nashville's News 2.
He continued, “We just want to do everything we can to make sure that when parents drop off the kids at school that they can focus on education and not worry about the safety of their kid.”
Sgt. Moore said they have hired eight new officers which allows for an officer at all schools K-12.
It's costing the county about $24,000 for each new officer from now until the end of the school year.
Funding after that has not yet been figured out.
“I feel very confident that it will be funded in light of what's happened in the last couple of months,” said Sgt. Moore, “Especially with the positive feedback we've gotten.”
“I think it's great,” said Shana Dwyer, whose grandchild is in first grade, “I think it's all about protecting the kids, making sure they're in a safe environment so they can learn and not have to worry about somebody come barreling through the door.”
It's a sign of the times, but even the littlest kids unfortunately seem to understand what the man in uniform with the gun is for.
“[To] make sure everybody is safe because some people might come in the school and try to kill some kids,” said first-grader, Matthew Donegan.
“I think it pierced everybody's heart in the country, and it just put everything in perspective,” added Sgt. Moore, who says news of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting hit very close to home.
- Jan. 10, 2013: Plan to add more SROs in Wilson County schools moves forward