In the wake of the Florida school shooting, a Kentucky school district has voted to let teachers carry concealed guns inside schools.
The Pike County School Board on Monday approved a proposal with a unanimous vote to allow teachers to carry guns, the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
“Under the new proposal, school employees could volunteer to serve as concealed-carry guards at schools throughout the county,” writes the Lexington Herald Leader. “Each volunteer would be subject to a background test, drug test, mental evaluation, and a qualification course, including firearms training, led by the Sheriff’s Office, which offered to provide the training for free.”
The motion authorizes the school board’s attorney to work with the Pike County Sheriff’s Office to finalize a formal policy to consider.
Pike County Schools Superintendent Reed Adkins says he hopes the board will give its final approval within two to three weeks so the district can have armed staff in schools by fall.
“You hope you’re making the right decision for kids, but I know right now something’s got to be done,” said Adkins. “We may be criticized, but at the end of the day I’ll take criticism to protect my students.”
Some attendees at the school board’s meeting opposed the motion, citing safety concerns.
Nearly everyone who spoke at the meeting, however, supported arming school staff who would be trained by the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.
Armed staff would be volunteers and would have to re-qualify multiple times a year.
“This program … could be a model for the rest of the state and, possibly, the country,” said state Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, who attended the meeting.
Other suggestions on how to improve school safety included door locks, cameras, and counseling for troubled students.
President Trump has suggested that teachers and faculty with gun training and special expertise carry guns on school premises to fight back in an active shooter situation.
He has also suggested eliminating schools as gun-free zones.
The White House told reporters on Tuesday that they can expect a formal policy proposal on gun control and school safety by the end of the week, a product of several meetings with parents, teachers, students, governors, and lawmakers over the past two weeks.
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