Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hundreds Pack North Idaho Meeting, Debating Proposal to Arm Teachers

Posted By on Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Hundreds of parents and educators packed a Sandpoint High School meeting to weigh in on a controversial proposal that would see teachers carrying weapons into school.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that the lake Pend Oreille School Board took no action on the proposal, with trustee chairman Steve Youngdahl saying, "This is a deliberative process, and it's going to take a long time."

Of more than two dozen public comments during the Oct. 8 meeting, 18 were in favor of allowing teachers to carry weapons, 12 were opposed, three were neutral.

The Bee reports that opponents argued that money would be better spent on efforts to reduce bullying, poverty or implement programs to better connect students to the workforce after graduation. A teacher said he was worried that "an impulsive decision by an armed school staff member could result in the unnecessary death of a child."

“Our community is now identified (by the media) with this issue, and I’m disappointed,” he said. “This is not what our community is about.”

But proponents said "schools were the only place they couldn't protect their cildren, saying turning schools into no-gun zones made them attractive targets for attack."

School Superintendent Shawn Woodward indicated that most of the comments he's received personally were against the proposal.

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