Security talk continues at Line Mtn.
MANDATA - Line Mountain Superintendent Dave Campbell and members of the school board agree firearms should be allowed in the district buildings, but several members disagree with Campbell over which strategy to implement.
After nearly an hour of discussion Tuesday night at the junior-senior high school, the board unanimously approved a motion to authorize the administration to take whatever actions necessary to investigate supplying safety measures in the classrooms and security resources to ensure safety, bring back proposals for any and all safety items in the classroom, investigate the cost of training staff members in safety courses and ask the staff if they would volunteer for training.
Several members of the board noted the vagueness of the motion was purposeful to ensure that only the required people would know exactly what the district is doing to ensure the safety of the students.
Solicitor Richard Roberts gave a report after speaking with District Attorney Tony Rosini and the school's insurance agents.
According to state law, Roberts said, it is a misdemeanor in the first degree for someone to have a firearm on school property outside of a lawful purpose, but the district can petition the courts to allow a trained police officer in the school.
Roberts said the district attorney is advising against teachers carrying guns until further research is obtained.
Campbell's position is to look into hiring a professional as a school resource officer so teachers would not be overwhelmed with such a dangerous responsibility.
"If we want protection, let's do this right," he said. "I want my teachers to teach. If we want guns, get professional people to do it. Why should we waste time training teachers and throw one more thing on their plate?"
President Troy Laudenslager said he wants to arm teachers, but he doesn't want to reveal which teachers, or how many, are armed.
"I'm not ready to have one person have (a gun), and to parade him around the school. I'm ready for people (intruders) to think twice," he said.
Directors Lauren Hackenburg, Lamont Masser and Marlin Yeager Jr. vocally agreed with him.
Director Dennis Erdman said, "If it was up to me, I'd give everyone M-16s. But we can't until we get our legislators to change the law."
Laudenslager said he wants the public to know that all legal options are on the table, and it will be up to the administrators to decide behind closed doors which options were implemented.
Roberts, however, said if money was being spent on hiring or training someone, that information would have to be made public at a board meeting.
Campbell said it's an overreaction to want teachers to have guns, but Laudenslager said it is an overreaction to spend money and hire someone.
"We're not asking teachers to do more. We're giving them the opportunity to do more," Masser said.