It was back to school Monday for many Spartanburg students, and for the first time, some of the smallest children will share the halls with an armed Spartanburg county deputy.
Starting Monday, there will be a deputy in each elementary school in Spartanburg School District 6 Schools. School resource officers have already been stationed at the middle schools and Dorman High School for years.
District 6 Superintendent Darryl Owings said he contacted the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office for added security immediately after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
"Normally the people that come to schools for things like this are cowards, they are not expecting to run into anyone," said Owings. "We felt like an armed officer at our school would help with our safety."
The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office said the deputies at the schools will be off-duty and they won't be taken off their primary jobs - instead, this is considered a part-time gig during their time off from the sheriff's office.
Their salaries will come from the school's general fund. The sheriff's office says Spartanburg District 3 elementary schools have also contacted their office about setting up a similar system.