But the board member who drafted the measure says arming all teachers would be "crazy."
The measure, which is scheduled for a first reading next month, reflects an
It "would give the board the option to allow someone to be armed," Superintendent
That possibility has drawn several letters to the editor of the
"It seems like a quick-trigger solution to a possible problem," Dumas said in a phone interview. "I'd rather that they would explore other avenues first."
A draft version of the policy includes the statement that "the school board may, from time to time, authorize specific individuals to possess certain firearms or other equipment on school property, at school-sponsored or school-related events, and at board meetings."
"I have sincere and serious doubts that the teachers favor this, from the two teachers that I've talked with," Dumas said. "I think that their acceptance or permission is critical."
Dominguez said he just wants the district to be prepared, "if we start seeing an increase in school violence in terms of terrorism or anything like that."
Only teachers who complete an initial training course and participate in ongoing weapons handling and tactical training could participate, Dominguez said.
"To have every teacher carrying a gun would be crazy," he said. "We have no intention of arming teachers. We just want to have a policy in place in case that arises."
Dominguez, whose children attend the district's
"We can be 30 minutes out from a police response," Dominguez said of
Also compelling, he said, is the likelihood that people are already bringing concealed weapons into Mountain View schools.
"I would much rather know who has guns in our school than not know who has guns in our school," Dominguez said.
That argument doesn't go far with
"Trying to scare people into buying into your idea is about the lowest form of persuasion," Phillips said.
He is a gun owner, Phillips said, but he has reservations about a policy he feels is unnecessary.
"Not that I really have much against guns," he said. "I just have something against the gun-solves-everybody's-problem mentality that's promoted by the
Even though they've never had a school death from a fire in the district, he said, students and teachers participate in fire drills on a regular basis, to be prepared.
"How many school shootings have we had (in the
"We're offering free training for any of those that decide they might want to carry," Giddings said. "We are glad to assist them in going forward with that policy."
Whether that happens, Giddings said, is up to the
"We encourage them, we're behind them, but we have no say in it," he said. "It's strictly the board's policy, it's their decision."
Superintendent Stokes said the district has discussed the proposal with the
"We work closely with the police department," Stokes said. "The police do some trainings in our buildings after hours. We have a good relationship. We take their advice. We listen to them."
State school board association provides 'information without ideology'
The idea for creating a weapons policy for Mountain View came after attending a session at the
"That's what we've seen is people tend to feel passionately one way or the other," Harrison said. "That is why having this workshop is so good."
Harrison said the association encourages school boards to have conversations with their communities, law enforcement officers and insurers if they are considering such a policy.
"We made it clear that the ISBA is not endorsing any position," she said. "We just want to have this dialogue."
Presenters at last year's session included representatives from law enforcement, a liability insurer, legal counsel and a school district that has a weapons policy.
That school district is
The language in
The tiny school district in a remote, unincorporated area of
"Our community is probably -- I'm going to speculate a little bit -- 95 percent pro," Ward said. "I think it's because they understand that we have no police department that's available 24/7."
In fact, a response from law enforcement could be more than half an hour away at any given time.
"We tell them that a large reason why we've done that is we're a remote community," Ward said. "We cannot wait 45 minutes for law enforcement."
His district's school board has discussed drafting a gun policy since last spring, though members are still in the early stages of the process.
"They're really struggling over the fact that we're even having to talk about it," Doramus said. "The concern is that we're so far away from a police presence, and if something did happen, who's going to be there."
Doramus and a board member attended the school boards association session last year, and the
One question, Doramus said, is how to provide the number of hours of training a teacher might require in order to be authorized to use a gun at the school. Sheriff's deputies, he said, average about eight hours of weapons training a month, a time commitment he's not sure the district could demand of teachers.
"Bottom line, our board is very interested in doing something, because they understand that where we're at we're isolated," Doramus said. "But they just haven't come to a consensus of what that might be yet."
The leader of another rural north central
"I would be totally opposed to serving in a district that had this kind of policy," said
"I guess you could say I do have some reservations about it," Martinez said. "I don't think the school understands how much time it's going to take for that kind of training."
Nearby districts, such as
"That's how most districts deal with this, is find a way to fund a school resource officer," Martinez said. "There are ways to put firearms in the schools in the hands of police officers."
Dominguez said he hopes those with questions, concerns or ideas will discuss them with school board members, if they haven't already.
"I want to be as transparent as possible with this," he said. "I want people to have input on what we as a board are doing."
Few patrons who have publicly shared questions or concerns about the idea have attended school board meetings where it has been discussed, Stokes said.
With the proposed policy scheduled for a first reading during the
"We've asked for input and we'll still take input," he said.
Stone may be contacted at [email protected] or at (208) 848-2244. Follow her on Twitter @MarysSchoolNews.
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