Colorado school districts consider creative ways to arm teachers
Although a bill that would have allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons in class was defeated in the Colorado legislature this week, school districts haven’t stopped trying to figure out creative ways to arm their employees.
Some may consider asking their local sheriffs to deputize teachers with concealed carry permits, an idea posed by the Weld County district attorney, according to the Denver Post.
And others, like the tiny Lone Star School District on Colorado’s eastern plains, located at least 30 miles from the nearest law enforcement agency, are thinking about letting teachers perform double-duty as school resources officers, who are allowed to carry guns on school property.
“We’re considering something like that,” Jeremy Weathers, the school district’s accountability chairman, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Weathers testified in support of Senate Bill 9 Monday night, a Republican-backed effort to give individual school districts the right to decide whether employees with concealed carry permits could bring their weapons to school. He said it was ideal for isolated districts like Lone Star, which can’t afford to wait 30 minutes or more for a police response in the event of a shooting.
After the bill was defeated, Weathers said he and Lone Star’s school board members went back the drawing board.
They’re considering offering employees who have, or are willing to get, concealed carry permits $1-per-year contracts to provide school security in addition to their duties as teachers, janitors and administrators.
“The downside to both of those is that those people become publicly known,” he said. “If you get deputized by a sheriff, that’s public information and if a school district signs a contract with somebody, any contract is open. It has to be discussed in an open meeting and that information is out in public.”
The beauty of the defeated legislation, he said, was that potential shooters wouldn’t know who was carrying a weapon.
Lone Star superintendent Sue Sonnenberg said the district was a long way from deciding whether to implement such a policy, but said “it’s one of the things we’re considering.”
Lone Star teachers aren’t the only ones interested in being armed to protect themselves and their students. On the night the bill was killed, gun-rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners held a free concealed carry class for as many as 300 teachers.
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