GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s a question many school districts and parents are struggling with right now — should staff members be armed at school? There’s a proposal right now to do just that at Frontier Academy in Greeley.
Frontier Academy has a secondary school and an elementary school with more than 1,000 students. The schools’ security committee first floated the idea of arming staff under fears other options are too expensive and don’t provide full-time coverage.
Frontier Academy currently pays for a part-time security program at its two charter schools. It’s board is now considering arming staff to provide round-the-clock coverage, and the idea gets mixed reviews.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to arm the employees or administrators with guns,” Frontier Academy parent Tim Barc said.
“We need to protect the kids and nobody else is doing it, so protect them,” Frontier Academy grandparent Sandy Moser said.
An armed employee would have to get the same training certification police officers do, and could not be a teacher to eliminate the chance a classroom full of students would be left alone in a crisis.
School leaders declined to speak on camera, but secondary school principal Dr. Stephen Seedorf said no particular event inspired the idea, rather, “every school needs to be cautious of security in this day and age.”
“We have soldiers in Afghanistan, places like that, who are trained how to use guns for years and they still make mistakes,” Barc said. “So I’m afraid that would put our kids and other people in unnecessary harm.”
“If they’re well taught, well trained, they should be fine,” Moser said.
Frontier Academy says survey results show 60 percent of staff support the idea. It plans to survey parents this week.
Under Colorado law — and as a charter academy — the board has the right to make the decision. It’s not the first example of a school considering the idea, but if passed would be among the very few.