Judge Blocks Guns In Schools In Uinta County

Sep 18, 2018

Last winter, the Uinta County School Board voted to allow teachers and staff to carry guns in schools. But now a judge has blocked that decision, saying the school board didn’t follow Wyoming’s rules for policymaking under the Wyoming Administrative Procedures Act. Sweetwater County Judge Nena James ruled last week the board should have posted the proposal 45 days before voting on it.

Sheila McGuire is a parent in the school district and a reporter for the local newspaper covering the story. She said, the school board was making changes to the policy minutes before both of the votes they took on the proposal.  

“I did ask them--even publicly asked them--to slow down and look at research on gun safety and statistics and whether or not this would actually make any kind of a difference, and to allow more time for the public to be involved,” said McGuire.

McGuire said, part of the problem came from the state. When lawmakers passed the bill allowing school districts to arm teachers, she said they didn’t give enough guidance to districts on how to make that decision.

“There’s a lot of, I think, confusion about the best way to go about doing this,” said McGuire. “And given that our district was the first in the state to actually adopt such a policy, it’s not surprising that there was legal action.”

But McGuire said the school district moved forward with the plan and has been paying to have staff trained on an individual basis and approving several to carry guns in schools.

Now however, the district has agreed to comply with the judge’s demand to halt the program, although McGuire says they may choose to appeal the decision with the Wyoming Supreme Court. 

The school district did not respond to Wyoming Public Radio’s request for comment.