By Melissa Garcia
LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is proposing a pilot program that would bring long range rifles onto campus in Lyons and Niwot.
Parents were scheduled to meet with St. Vrain Valley School District administrators Tuesday evening in Lyons to weigh in on the proposal.
Boulder County school resource officers already carry AR-15s in their cruisers, but putting additional ones in safes could increase response time, sheriff’s officials said.
As the number of school shootings rises, student safety is the goal behind the proposal, said a BCSO spokesperson.
If the St. Vrain Valley School Board approves the measure, gun safes requiring fingerprint access by deputies only would go inside both Lyons Middle/Senior High School and Niwot High School beginning at the start of next school year.
“I think it’s a good choice. It will be faster if something terrible like that happens,” said Jensen Douillard, a Niwot High School senior. His mom Ginger agrees.
“As long as the deputy sheriff is the only one that has the fingerprint access, and not any student can just run into the office and break a window,” she said.
Not everyone is on board.
Lisa Verbeck, the mother of a Niwot High School freshman has mixed emotions on the topic.
“The officers at the school already carry a handgun, and I feel like if they do come out, that could endanger more children by accident,” Verbeck told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
Verbeck also worried that semi-automatic weapons on school grounds could create more fears surrounding school violence.
“I worry that having a rifle in the school might put that fear into kids’ minds more than they need to,” Verbeck explained.
Her daughter, Avery, echoed that sentiment.
“Having a gun at the school makes me feel like it’s going to happen,” she said.
Community feedback from Tuesday’s open meeting will help school board members decide when it comes time to vote. The board has not yet set a date for the decision.
School administrators will hold a second meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Sunset Middle School.
Those who want to provide input but can not attend a session are encouraged to contact the school board.