School board will al­low teach­ers to arm selves

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

el paso county» A ru­ral school dis­trict de­cided Wed­nes­day night to al­low its teach­ers and other school staff mem­bers to carry guns on cam­pus to pro­tect students.

Hanover School Dis­trict 28 board voted 3-2 to al­low school em­ploy­ees to vol­un­teer to be armed on the job af­ter un­der­go­ing train­ing.

The dis­trict’s two schools serve about 270 students about 30 miles south­east of Colorado Springs, and it takes law en­force­ment an av­er­age of 20 min­utes to get there. The dis­trict shares an armed school re­source of­fi­cer with four other school dis­tricts.

Board mem­ber Michael Law­son backed the idea not only as way to pro­tect students from a mass shoot­ing but also as pro­tec­tion against pos­si­ble vi­o­lence con­nected with nearby mar­i­juana grows, which he be­lieves are con­nected with for­eign car­tels, The Gazette re­ported.

School board Pres­i­dent Mark McPherson said a sur­vey showed the com­mu­nity was split on the is­sue. While staffers would get some train­ing, the re­tired Army of­fi­cer said he didn’t think it would be enough to help them re­spond ef­fec­tively to an ac­tive shooter. He wor­ries what would hap­pen if they fired and missed in a class­room.

“We need to leave that to the pro­fes­sion­als,” said McPherson, who also wor­ries about the risk posed by just hav­ing the guns in the school build­ing and how they would be stored.

He said he is aware of only one mar­i­juana grow­ing op­er­a­tion within about 5 miles of the schools. McPherson said he thinks com­ments about car­tel in­volve­ment in the area are ru­mors at this point.

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