West Central School Board Discusses Firearm Policy

west central logoIt’s an issue that schools shouldn’t have to worry about, but it’s a national issue. During their recent meeting, the West Central School Board members discussed upgrading a policy concerning the possession of firearms on school property.

Superintendent Charles Mellon stated that staff members cannot be restricted from having guns on school property.

“Our policy, what we’ve presented, is that they have to be locked in their cars and not visible so basically you wouldn’t know if there was a weapon in there or not. The other end of the spectrum, which I think North White School Corporation did pass, is that you could have identified people in your building that have a firearm with them.”

One decision the board members could make is designating an employee to carry a firearm.

“We could say that we didn’t want principals to have to carry guns, but is it a deterrent from somebody coming in? They would know it’s the policy of the school that if needed an intruder could be detained a little bit longer rather than somebody just kind of shooting their way in or walking in. That’s what you have to weigh back and forth. It could be worth a child’s life if you did allow it, but then it’s just that concept of having firearms in the building.”

One question that came up was if an employee had a firearm in the car and an incident occurred would it be beneficial to have that accessibility if a gunmen or other hostile crisis occurred?

“If there was an issue and we did have employees that had them in their car, how quick could they get to the car? I guess being in a rural area that’s what our thoughts were. It may take some time for any type of law enforcement assistance to get here where we could have something concealed in a car that we could get to in time to supply our own assistance. There’s a lot of training with it. It’s not like letting people bring guns.”

A first reading of the policy was presented and a final decision will be forthcoming.