El Paso County teachers in the second district will now be allowed to carry concealed handguns on school campus.
The five-member Board of Education passed the decision unanimously, allowing staff to carry concealed after being certified to respond to a threat.
The District is in the process of forming up the committees to address a multitude of security concerns of the schools in the Peyton District, including:
- Social and emotional aspects of a school attacker
- Medical training response for shootings
- Enhanced campus security, via cameras and other physical security measures, such as entry ways and exits, perimeter fencing, and key cards
- Training for those staff members who desire to carry a concealed weapon on campuses
Superintendent Tim Kistler says firearms are a last resort after all the other measures have failed:
“Having armed staff is not the front-line defense; it’s more if we don’t have any other options, we have the potential to stop any threat. The hope and prayer is that we never had to pull an arm.”
Training is available for teachers allowed to carry armed, in a safe and responsible way.
Laura Carno is the founder of FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) Colorado, a non-profit which focuses on training, “ … teachers, administrators and other school employees to stop school violence quickly and administer medical aid immediately.”
According to Carno during a 9 News interview from February this year:
“Rural schools have always been the early adopters (of CCW teachers) because they and their county sheriffs know it’s thirty minutes before anybody shows up.”
According to Policeone.com, Carno reports “ … Statewide, employees from at least 25 of Colorado’s 178 public school districts have been trained through an active-shooter response program for educators because their districts have authorized armed staff or are in the process.”
Carno says the interest in increasing the security of campuses within the school district rose after the school shooting in Parkland Florida in February of this year.
Superintendent Kistler says things aren’t ready to go yet, but plans are being made to get the new security measures implemented.
“It’s a team effort,” he said. “Each area falls under the umbrella of security and safety, and the groups will meet regularly, so we know what people are thinking about how this can be put into place.”
$30 million in grants was approved by lawmakers recently for the prevention of school violence. Kistler says that if his district receives a grant, 10-20 School employees will be trained to carry concealed on campus, potentially by the last quarter of the year.
Colorado law says it is illegal for anyone to be armed in the school, but does have a provision for security guards and personnel.
A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun onto the real property, or into any improvements erected thereon, of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school; except that:
–(b) A permittee who is employed or retained by contract by a school district as a school security officer may carry a concealed handgun onto the real property, or into any improvement erected thereon, of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school while the permittee is on duty;
Teachers all over the U.S. are looking for ways to protect themselves and the children under their care. Read here for an article on an Illinois educator who became a police officer so she could carry concealed in her school.