Sterling considers allowing teachers to carry guns

STERLING, OK (RNN Texoma) -Later this month, school board members in Sterling will discuss whether or not they will allow teachers to carry handguns on school grounds.

Superintendent Kent Lemons said it all came down to safety and this wasn't something they came up with after the school shooting in Florida. They've been talking about it since November of last year. They even sent home surveys to parents and faculty, earlier this week and everyone was overwhelmingly in favor of having guns on campus as long as the training complies with state laws, and it makes the school a safer place.

Sterling Police Chief Mike Barker said believes teachers should carry on school grounds.

"I'm all for it because even if we are just down the street, just three blocks it's going to take us a couple of minutes to get here and how many children can die in two minutes or three minutes," said Barker.

Barker said if the policy is approved by the school board, he believes teachers should comply with current state laws by going through CLEET training, pass a psychological evaluation and be proficient in using fire arms. Barker also believes teachers should have easy access to the gun.

"They don't need to be in a locked box they need to carry them because the time you get to a locked box and get it out...it's too late," said Barker.

On March 13, the Sterling School Board will discuss the different laws that are required for teachers to carry a gun, and the types of training they have to complete.

"The school board will also decide who will carry, also decide how they will carry either in a vault or carry it on themselves, what kind of hand gun they will carry, the ammunition, and also discuss the training if we want to do additional training besides what's required," said Lemons.

Superintendent Kent Lemons adds the district only has 50 teachers and 400 students. He said it's tough to say what the best solution is when it comes to school shootings, but they want to do whatever they can to keep students and staff safe.

"Of course we all wish we had more money we could invest in police officers at school and it would just be an ideal situation to have a police man here all the time but its not feasible its not financially feasible for us to do that," said Lemons.

Lemons said if the policy is adopted they can't force teachers to carry a gun if they don't want to. They will also place signs around the outside and entrances of the school informing people that  personnel have hand guns.

The school board meeting will be held on March 13.

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