Oklahoma School Districts Consider Arming Teachers
DRUMMOND, Ok. - School districts in Oklahoma now have the authority to arm teachers and school workers, and many districts are strongly considering the extra level of security.
One superintendent is looking forward to the opportunity.
For Drummond Superintendent Mike Woods, this is about local control, and local decisions, and he believes it would be irresponsible if he didn't consider every tool to provide a secure learning environment.
The ability to carry concealed weapons on school grounds has been a hot debate for quite some time, but now, it's an option for districts across the state. An option Woods says is needed.
“I think it's of the best interest of all that the school have every opportunity to provide what it needs to protect its students and staff and visitors that might be in the building,” said Woods.
Some rural school districts, like Drummond are several miles away from local law enforcement, and response time in the event of a potential shooting is critical.
“Just the case that we could possibly have somebody on site that is armed, that is willing to engage somebody in that manner would possibly detour somebody with less than honorable intentions from entering Drummond Schools,” said Woods.
The 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting reinvigorated the push to put more guns in schools. This new law gives local school boards the opportunity to select and train employees to carry a gun on campus.
“If that person were available to us, and willing to provide that service, and it was agreeable to all the stake holders involved, I think that would be something we could consider,” said Woods.
The law requires a minimum of 120-hours of firearms instruction that includes the completion of a school resource officer academy.
“The opportunity to have this at our disposal is a positive step,” said Woods.
Superintendent Woods says his district has an agreement with the Garfield County Sheriff's Office and they routinely have deputies on campus, but deputies are not on campus every day.
The new law goes into effect July 1st.