Arm Teachers In Schools? These Idaho Districts Already Do

Feb 23, 2018

President Donald Trump has suggested arming teachers around the country after last week’s mass shooting at a Florida high school.

In Idaho, the Garden Valley School District began a voluntary program in 2015 that trains teachers to use district-owned rifles. The guns are kept in safes throughout the school. The idea is to give designated teachers access to the rifles in the case of an active shooter situation.

Kari Overall with the Idaho Education Association says the teachers’ union doesn’t take an official position on arming educators; teachers need to be focused on instruction.

“We believe that it isn’t a teacher's job to keep them safe," says Overall. "We also believe that local school districts and school boards have the right and the flexibility to choose what is best for their district.”

Idaho Education News reports that besides Garden Valley, the Salmon River and Mountain View districts allow school staff to conceal and carry their own guns on campus. These rural districts point to slow response time from police and first responders as necessities for the policy.

The Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center also allows concealed carry for teachers because officials say the school’s layout could make evacuations more difficult.  

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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