Campbell County Still Considering Arming Educators

Aug 28, 2019

Credit Campbell County School District

The Campbell County School District is continuing to discuss a policy that would allow district staff to carry concealed firearms.

At Tuesday's school board meeting, Campbell County School District Superintendent Alex Ayers said district administrators will ask the school board whether or not it wants the district to start developing such a policy at the school board's next meeting in September.

"If a majority of the board would like us to bring a draft policy, we'll do that as quickly as we can. Obviously, there's some school districts in Wyoming with great model policies that we'll certainly utilize in our research," Ayers said. "If the board doesn't want to pursue a policy at this point, that will end the discussion."

If the board asks the district to develop a policy at the next meeting, that doesn't mean it will automatically pass. Administrators will still have to draft the policy and present it to the board and community. Any passage of a policy would require a few public meetings.

The district has been in an information gathering phase, which has included surveys of staff and the community. In both of those surveys, the majority of respondents said they would support a policy that allowed staff to carry concealed guns.

Many respondents to the surveys said they needed more information before they could make a decision.

In response, district officials compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the armed educator discussion. The questions were gathered from comments on the surveys.

Ayers said he hopes the list answers some questions.

"Part of that is not presuming were a policy might head, and so we'll have to look at everything from training to applications to qualifications, etc. That'll take some time to develop and hopefully answer questions if it comes to that," he said.

Board members said it would be a good idea to post the questions and answers on the school district's website website.

In the meantime, district officials will look into getting more resource officers in schools.

School Board Chairwoman Anne Ochs asked district staff to meet with Gillette city officials to learn how much it would cost to hire and how long it would take to train more school resource officers.

The next school board meeting will be on September 10. Campbell County would be the fifth Wyoming school district to approve a policy to arm some teachers.