Cody community discusses proposal to arm teachers

On Wednesday President Trump suggested that school staff members should be allowed to carry concealed weapons in schools.

President Trump's comment came just a day after students and teachers in Cody asked the school board to keep guns out of teachers’ hands.

The school board voted to move the gun policy to a second reading. One teacher who spoke against the policy is a Columbine survivor.

Cody School Board Trustee Scott Weber told the audience at the meeting, “I would say to all of you who would say no to this policy, I’m going to give you a fact. There are three people currently incarcerated who have said they will come into our schools and kill all our children…RIGHT NOW!”

Last year,  Weber introduced the proposed policy of arming school personnel.  It’s called CKA. The board sent out teacher and voter surveys, asking for the public's response following a meeting last month.

On Tuesday night, most spoke against arming teachers and school staff.  Some spoke for it, including board member William Streumke:

Streumke said, “It’s the foolish soldier who states that he’s willing to die for his country.  A brave soldier’s willing to fight for his country. And I’d like to think our teachers are willing to fight for our students.” 

But the first one to speak to the board was a Cody elementary teacher. She said she did not want to be armed, and she survived Columbine.

Carry LaFollette told the board, “Bombs were exploding underneath us. The floor was shaking.”

LaFollette was a sophomore at Columbine High School in Colorado, when two seniors set off bombs and shot and killed 12 students and one teacher. 

She told Cody’s school board if teachers had guns that day, “I cannot imagine how much worse that situation would have turned out.”

The teacher who died, while saving students, stumbled into the classroom where she and 60 other students were huddled.

LoFollette remembered, “He was injured, and he fell into the classroom, and we were all, there was people  tending to him and people were on the phone with 911 operators.”

LoFollette said the two gunmen came close.

She explained, “They did throw a Molotov cocktail into the room next to ours…I thought we were dead. It was just one of those, ‘If we get out alive it will be a miracle’,  and when we saw our teacher, we knew it was serious.”

This Cody classroom teacher does not support armed school personnel.

She explained, “There are preventative measures we can take. I feel like that would be a really good thing to look at first, before jumping into arming staff.”

Some of the school board members wanted to wait for the community survey results before taking a final vote.

Penny Preston is a contributing reporter for KULR 8. For use of this material, contact Penny Preston for permission.

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