Discussion about school security in the Weld Re-8 School District Nov. 10 ranged from arming teachers to bringing in armed security guards to leaving security in the hands of those with professional training.
“There are a number of teachers and, frankly, a number of administrators who are in favor (of arming teachers),” said board member Cody LeBlanc. “It tells me that staff is willing to take on the added responsibility, which makes me happy.”
Superintendent Alan Kaylor reminded the board that FASTER training allows teachers to be armed in schools. Board member Michelle Bettger agreed with LeBlanc — to a point.
“We need to talk to the community about their likes and dislikes,” she said. “Maybe we could convince the community to (pass) the bond to make schools safer so we don’t have to go down this road.”
The district is seeking a bond election next year.
The comments board member Matt Bovee heard told him that people would rather leave security concerns to the professionals.
“It makes me think people are more receptive to armed security guards,” he said. “It might make a lot more people feel a lot safer.”
Board member Cristian Gonzales agreed.
“At the beginning of the school year, our principal told us we had an armed guard,” he said. “I applauded that. Even if it were a security guard, I would feel pretty good about walking around the hall, stuff like that.”
Mitchell Wilcox, who teaches art at Twombly Elementary School, was not in favor of the FASTER program. Instead, he suggested the district make sure that lockdown training was consistent.
“Firearms meant to take lives do not belong in public education,” he told the board. “My dad was a cop. He had the benefit of experience. The training is 26 hours over three days. What mistakes will teachers make?”
Resident Frank Alvarado favored a collateral approach to school safety involving the public and the employees.
“It’s guns that kill people,” he told the board. “Teachers should carry guns? What kind of baloney is that?”
The board agreed to continue to look at all options as they relate to school building safety. It couldn’t make a decision because of the format of the meeting.