27ºF

Michigan school district weighs option of allowing staff to carry guns in school

Town hall held Monday to discuss issue

Addison Community Schools has multiple security procedures in place, including 60 cameras, buzzers and shatterproof film on the windows.

But the district does not have a full-time resource officer because there's no budget for it. Addison is a small town. It has no police department. It relies on the Lenawee County Sheriff's Department, which is on the opposite side of the county. Response times vary between 13 and 38 minutes.

"Our school shooting facts are that it's all over in seven minutes," Superintendent Steve Guerra said.

For about a year, the school board has been researching the possibility of having staff carry guns. A decision has not been made.

"We're going to listen to you as our community, and from, there we're going to come back and put our heads together," Guerra said.

The district held a town hall on the issue Monday night. Dozens of parents and staff members attended to discuss the pros and cons. While opinions were mixed, the discussion remained respectful.

If the district were to implement allowing staff to carry guns, it would not be mandatory. Only staff members willing to get advanced training and psychiatric evaluation would be allowed to have a weapon. In return, they would receive a small stipend. The amount has yet been decided.

The teacher's union isn't taking an official position yet, and its membership has mixed opinions, as well.


About the Author: