Tuesday night, the Park County District #6 school board in Cody voted to allow teachers to carry guns. This comes after a long debate in the community as to whether this is the right way to protect schools.
During the meeting, last minute changes were made to the number of training hours required of teachers annually in order to carry a gun in school. According to the Park County sheriff’s recommendation, board members increased the minimum requirement of training from 12 to 18 hours.
Flint Flesher, a father in the district and the owner of Alpine Firearms Training, has been following the issue since it was first introduced to the board in the fall. He said no matter what in Cody you’re constantly surrounded by people carrying guns in public.
“I feel more comfortable being around these teachers with guns than I do a lot of other people just because they've gone through it they know what they’re supposed to be doing,” he said.
But Jordan Nelson disagrees. She’s a senior at Cody High School. She said this is a devastating decision and she’s worried about her brother who will still be in the district next year.
“I’m just worried with the idea that there are some teachers here at Cody that I just do not want to be armed. And I don't think more guns to solve a gun problem will make a difference,” she said.
This debate sparked a controversial debate. Opponents of the policy argued teachers won’t be able to multi-task and asked for more school resource officers (SROs) as a compromise. But Trustees Kelly Simone and Jennifer Rosencranse said they firmly believe arming teachers is the best option since they cannot afford to hire any SROs.
In addition to training, teachers that apply to carry will have to pass a psychological evaluation and a drug and alcohol test. The board also added a requirement to conduct a comprehensive review of the policy in two years. This is the second school district in Wyoming to let its teachers be armed. Teachers will be able to apply to conceal carry for the next school year.