(CBS4) – The Douglas County School Board on Tuesday night approved a request from one of its charter schools to leave the district because they insist teachers should be allowed to carry guns in class. Ascent Classical Academy in Lone Tree was granted permission to apply for conversion to the Colorado Charter School Institute.

Ascent Classical Academy

Ascent Classical Academy (credit: CBS)

The school has provided firing range and safety training to the faculty and staff members who carry guns. But arming teachers and other staff is against school district policy in Douglas County.

“To preserve and protect our children we do have an armed staff program here at our school,” said Derec Schuler, the academy’s executive director. “We’ve agreed that it’s probably in our mutual best interest for us to work with a different authorizer if the district continues taking their own approach to student safety.”

The academy will officially leave the school district if and when their application to join the institute is approved.

The charter school is home to 500 students in kindergarten through 11th grade. Administrators there said they’ve been pushing to leave the district for more than a year.

Ascent Classical Academy (credit: CBS)

“I do think having all options on the table allow us to better protect our community,” Schuler said.

Jessica Eban has four children who attend the school. She told CBS4 she approves of the armed teacher policy.

“It gives a level of comfort to my family just knowing as parents that there is something there that can protect my kids. There is an option,” she said.

Douglas County School Board

Douglas County School Board (credit: CBS)

The board said they will honor their current contract with Ascent Classical Academy, which means they’ll continue funding the school through 2023. After that, it’s unclear how the school will be funded.


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