After school shooting in Perry, some Iowa schools arming staff

Following the events of the school shooting in Perry, Iowa, schools in the district of Sioux City began to talk about arming the staff so that they are prepared for the event of a school shooting, but one school put the plan into action. Siouxland School has begun the process of arming its staff. Some members of the staff are instructed to carry around a pistol that they will use if necessary, for the safety of all students and staff. The reasoning for this decision is for the safety of everyone involved. It is a huge step in terms of school security, and the decision was not taken lightly. Lots of conversation, and research was put into the decision.

Spirit Lake is another school in Iowa with a policy that arms staff, allowing 10 personnel who are not bus drivers or teachers to have a weapon on school property.

Lindsey Laurich is the superintendent of Siouxland private school, and said that the decision was made based on the safety of students and staff being a paramount of the administration. Laurich said that it is her job to make sure that all staff and students are as safe as possible, and that if there was something she could do to ensure that safety, then she wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if she didn’t. It is important to note that Siouxland school is a private school, and because of that, the implementation of this policy is completely up to the people in charge of the school. In order for this to happen in public schools, an elected leader would need to buy in on the idea, but it’s not impossible. 

Iowa has joined the list of 32 states that allow staff to have guns in schools. Federal gun regulations still apply in any given situation, but other restrictions vary state by state. Twenty of the 32 aforementioned states, Iowa included, only require permission from the school itself to have a weapon on the premises. Utah and Oregon take it a step further, with the holder of the weapon only needing to have a concealed carry license to have the weapon. Florida has the least restrictions as of May of last year, which passed a bill that legally allows teachers to just have a gun in the school, though Florida was already arming staff beforehand. Texas is another state with a program like Floridas. Texas has the school Marshall program, which allows a school Marshall to have a weapon. 

Some states such as Tennessee have policies that only allow guns in private schools, and any person who carries a weapon must have a concealed carry license, as well as fulfilling all training and licensing requirements, as allocated by state and federal law. 

There are many more differences between each state, mostly involving gun laws in that state. Private schools like Siouxland also get more independence on whether or not they can allow weapons on school property. Religious schools are in the same situation.

Though schools having staff carry a weapon could save lives, intense debates and arguments surround the entire situation. Many believe that having staff members with weapons is a necessary security measure in areas that have a history of school shootings, but others think that arming teachers could end up making schools less safe. The process of bringing guns to school to protect students is a decision that is made with only the best interests of safety for everyone involved, but it could still make some people feel less safe just being in the presence of a weapon. 

Ultimately, the fact that this decision even needs to be considered is horrible in itself. The fact that school shootings happen often enough that arming teachers is even an option is a cause for concern. That is why another popular opinion to solve this issue is to tighten federal gun regulations to the point that it would be almost impossible for some random person to just get their hands on one. Others believe that arming teachers is actually a great solution, and that it will prove to save lives.

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