GRANGEVILLE, Idaho March 8 2017 – Board members approved a new policy to allow trained teachers and staff members to carry guns.
School leaders of Mountain View School District said they have wanted to arm teachers because they are unable to afford school resource officers.
Mountain View School district is very rural, in fact, it is the sixth largest school district by land in the continental United States. The school said resource officers are hard to come by and in a violent emergency, staff members would be the first line of defense.
Under the new rules, certain administrators and staff members can volunteer to become what the district’s calling “security officers.” Before they are given guns, though, there are some checks in place.
Staff members who volunteer to carry must first receive an enhanced concealed weapons license form the state. These staff will also undergo mental and possibly physical evaluations. Decisions on who gets to carry are ultimately up to the school board, and school leaders can strip a security officer of their duties and firearm at any time.
The guns used by the new “security officers” will be provided by the district. The guns are either to be carried concealed or stored in an approved lock box. The school also said that if it comes down to it, staff are to only draw their guns in the face of imminent danger.
School leaders have previously said that none of the schools in the district can afford resources officers, therefore these armed staff members would be the first line of defense.
This is not the first time the idea to arm teachers was brought up in North Idaho. In 2013, the Lake Pend Oreille School board in Sandpoint proposed a similar policy. The Lake Pend Oreille School board’s proposal was met with backlash though. Less than 10% of district teachers were in favor of the idea. The board member who proposed the policy also became the subject of a failed recall attempt.
According to the Associated Press, the next step I this process is to seriously vet staff members who are interested. However, it is unclear when those staff members will be issued firearms.