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A Colorado school district will allow teachers carry guns

The latest Colorado vote came on the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

A RURAL COLORADO school district decided to allow its teachers and other school staff to carry guns on campus to protect students.

The Hanover School District 28 board voted 3-2 last night 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 currently 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 of Colorado Springs reported.

He said it will take months to work out the details and to train employees.

Survey

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.

“Our rooms are supposed to be locked and secure. We have cameras. We have a very vigilant staff,” he said. “We are authorising teachers to pull a weapon and kill a human being, and I cannot support that.”

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

Some other school districts in Colorado as well as in Texas, Oklahoma and California have also backed allowing teachers to carry weapons following the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.

An undisclosed number of teachers and other employees at a one-school district in Colorado’s sparsely populated Eastern Plains are currently being trained after the school board approved the move in July largely out of concern for how long it would take law enforcement to respond.

The latest Colorado vote came on the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre.

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Associated Press

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