Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Staff Member Comments on School Staff Members Being Allowed to Carry Guns ; Cherokee and Spirit Lake Boards Have Voted in Favor

Though its campuses have not experienced serious gun violence to date, the Cherokee Community School Board recently became the second in Iowa to allow school staff members to carry guns on campus and in classrooms.

Cherokee Superintendent Kimberly Lingenfelter said “no one wants guns in schools, but we want bad guys with a gun even less.” She described the board’s approach to keeping kids safe as “very measured and serious.”

Connie Ryan, who heads the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, says she understands there’s a public-health crisis in American schools, which includes firearms. But her organization thinks “adding guns to the hips of educators” is a leap, not just a step, in the wrong direction…(audio clip below)

Ryan points out that teachers and administrators are there to educate students, and should focus on moving them to safety in the event of a crisis and calling 9-1-1, rather than trying to do the work of law enforcement.

Ryan is opposed to having guns in schools under any circumstances, and believes there are always better alternatives than countering guns with more guns. She thinks the solution lies in keeping perpetrators off campus in the first place – with enhanced security, locked doors and other safety protocols…(audio clip below)

Cherokee Community Schools joined Spirit Lake schools, as the Spirit Lake school board voted in August to allow ten staff members to carry firearms and receive training on how and when to use them.

The Iowa Firearms Coalition has endorsed the decision. Spirit Lake schools have encouraged other districts in Iowa to follow suit, as long as the educators carrying weapons are properly trained.

(credit to Iowa News Service)