Last week a rural school district in Colorado announced that teachers would be allowed to carry guns in class. This came on the 4th anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre.
The Board of Education for Hanover School District #28, which is comprised of one elementary school and one combined junior and senior high school, serving a total of about 245 students, voted 3-2 to approve the resolution. The school board president voted against the measure, which states that any teacher or staff member with a permit to carry a concealed weapon can volunteer for extra duty as a security officer. The employee must then complete training before being allowed to bring the gun to campus.
Ken Toltz who founded Safe Campus Colorado in 2013 says the Colorado’s current concealed weapon law does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun into a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school, but it allows a security guard to be armed. The Hanover School District resolution means that a teacher can be designated as a security guard. “There is language in the law that says if a school district has a designated security officer, which many rural school districts felt they needed to have, and that person had a concealed carry permit, then that person could carry their gun.” Toltz says that a charter school in Greeley last year tried to approve a similar measure, but public input against the proposal prompted a no vote on the measure.
Shannon Watts formed Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in the wake of Sandy Hook. She started a facebook page to engage other mothers concerned about gun violence. “It was like lightening in a bottle, and has been ever since. Millions of other moms obviously had that same idea that day which was “how do I change the laws where I live and in my nation so that my family and my community is safer?” because when you learn how incredibly lax our nations gun laws are, you can’t sit on the sidelines any more, you have to get out and do something.”
Ken Toltz says that move to have guns in school is part of an NRA platform to have guns allowed everywhere. “The guns everywhere policy or marketing strategy…is working and in fact we see it at the federal level where our new president elect has said that this is one of the things he wants to accomplish on day one. There’s nothing more important to him than getting guns into classrooms. He bought the NRA line fully and apparently his supporters did as well.”