The Ten Sleep school board in Worland, Wyoming recently voted unanimously to speak with law enforcement regarding arming their teachers at their next board meeting. Senate File 109 was passed into law during the last legislative session and allows school districts to create regulations regarding employees carrying firearms on them with valid permits. What could possibly go wrong?
According to the bill:
The board of trustees in each school district may adopt rules and regulations, in consultation with local law enforcement, to allow the possession of firearms by employees possessing a valid concealed carry permit under W.S. 6-8-104 on or in any property or facility owned or leased by the school district. The district must also establish ongoing training requirements and the employees must pass an initial training course.
The reasoning behind the unanimous vote is that some schools are so rural that emergency responders wouldn’t be able to get to the schools in time to stop an active shooter situation. According to Ten Sleep School Superintendent Jimmy Phelps:
Sheriff Rakness informed us several years ago that in the event of an ‘active shooter,’ it could take them up to 20 minutes to get to our campus. It would depend upon the location of the deputies at the time of the call. Over the past several years, our district has done a lot of work to improve the security of our buildings and individual classrooms. At a moment’s notice, we can now lock down the building, each classroom, restrooms, and make individual hallways inaccessible to an intruder. At the same time, all individual key fobs become inoperable, so that if an intruder took a key fob away from a person, that intruder could not use it to gain access to the building or classrooms. This new statute gives us the ability to take aggressive action against an intruder in our building, not just lockdown and hide.
If all the doors to the school can be remotely accessed to lock in an intruder and keep students and teachers out of harm’s way, isn’t arming the teachers just overkill? I’m sure all kids would act calmly in an emergency and there would be no danger of accidentally shooting a frightened, frantic student. Is this what these people are thinking?
A teacher’s job is to educate and prepare children for their futures. They are with these students 7-8 hours per day; sometimes seeing them more than the parents. Teachers have lousy hours and lousy pay that a couple months off in the summer do not make up for. Why should they be expected to arm themselves to go to work? Teachers don’t learn how to be cowboys in college, it’s not part of the job description. There is no way in hell I would send my child to a school with gun-slinging teachers.