Colo. School District Votes to Allow Staff to Bring Guns on Campus

The decision to arm teachers and staff members came on the four year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

A rural school district in Colorado will allow teachers and staff members to carry guns on campus after the school board approved the new policy Wednesday.

The decision by Hanover School District 28 is significant for its timing as well as its implications: The board approved the policy on the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

“In light of the recent incidents nationally, the Board of Education of the District has determined that it is in the best interest of the District, and necessary for the safety and well-being of its students and employees, to provide security personnel within the District to intervene if deadly violence occurs or is threatened,” the resolution stated.

The policy will allow staff members to apply for the school security program if they have a concealed handgun license and are willing to undergo training.

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One reason some community members supported the bill was the prevalence of new marijuana-growing operations in the county since the state legalized it in 2012. School board member Michael Lawson said three such growing operations are within two miles of the school and are being run by Cuban and Columbian cartels.

Board President Mark McPherson, however, disputed Lawson’s claim and said he was opposed to the policy.

“I believe that arming staff is not appropriate in our district,” McPherson told KOAA. “But now that that has happened, we’ve got to come together as a group and focus on the task at hand. We voted as a board and now collectively as a board we will begin the work of putting that plan together.”

The school board’s 3-2 vote in favor of the policy came after a survey was conducted to gauge the sentiment of school staff members, students and parents. That survey was tight, with the final vote tallying 126 people in favor of arming staff members and 123 people opposed.

A limited number of schools have begun adopting similar policies. This year, Campus Safety has reported on districts in California and Texas that began arming teachers and staff members.

Many of the school districts who choose to arm staff members are in rural areas where the response time of police officers is high.

Read Next: University of Kansas Denied Limits on Campus Carry Law

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