By Jeff Todd
LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – The controversial plan to lock an AR-15 rifle inside a safe at some schools in Boulder County was met with skeptical and mostly negative reactions Tuesday night in Lyons.
“I don’t think having a gun in the school is a good idea because I know it’s going to be hard to access, but people can do it if they really try,” said Jesse Nunez who is heading into 6th grade next school year. “It might scare the kids even more and make them contemplate suicide if they know there’s a rifle inside the building.”
Jesse was one of just a handful of students from Lyons Middle/Senior High School to speak at Tuesday’s community meeting.
“I think we should have an opinion in this because we’re the people that it’s actually going to be effecting,” he said.
The plan came from the Boulder County Sheriff’s office which has school resource officers on campus. They are armed and have an AR-15 inside their squad cars. The idea is to have another long rifle in the school for quicker access.
Division Chief Robert Sullenberger also admitted it’s another tool for the resource officers who may not have backup for up to 15 minutes because Lyons is remote from other patrolling officers.
“A gun in the school might be a possibility if the situation escalates further,” said 8th grader Maya Nunez. “Having the gun there visible, even in a locker, will just scare the students more.”
Many adults and students wondered if a locked rifle in the school administrative office brought more logistical issues that providing realistic safety during a school shooting.
“I honestly don’t understand the point of having a rifle in school that’s hard to get to already. I just feel like their pistol would be good enough if there were a school shooting,” Jesse said.
A safe is also proposed at Niwot High School. A community meeting is planned there on Thursday. The final decision will be up to the St. Vrain Valley School Board, but there’s no timetable for a vote.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.