Rural Hanover School District Will Vote On Whether To Arm Teachers And Staff

Superintendent Grant Schmidt says there has never been an attack there, but his rural school district in El Paso County is set to vote on whether to arm teachers and other school staff.

The Gazette reports that Hanover School District 28's board will vote Wednesday on the issue, four years to the day after the shooting that killed 20 children and six employees in Newtown, Connecticut.

Board member Michael Lawson says fears of mass shootings are only part of the argument to arm faculty at the district's two schools about 30 miles southeast of Colorado Springs. He says nearby marijuana grows, which he believes are connected to foreign cartels, are also a reason to take extra precautions.

The district has one school resource officer.

Earlier this year, the Douglas County school district’s decision to give some of its security staff access to semi-automatic rifles raised questions with national safety experts – and some parents.

Semi-automatic assault rifles in the hands of school safety officers aren’t new in Colorado, or across the nation. Since the Columbine school shootings 17 years ago, many schools have trained law enforcement officers employed by the local police or sheriff’s department who provide school security. Many of these officers have access to semi-automatic rifles -- also known as long guns, often locked in patrol cars.