Scio Schools allow staff to carry concealed weapons - KPTV - FOX 12

Scio Schools allow staff to carry concealed weapons

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The Scio School District recently changed its policy to allow school workers with concealed weapon permits to carry their guns on campus.

The school board approved that change in March in a 3-to-1 vote.

The district said it's not advocating teachers to carry guns, but instead it wants to give them the same rights as any other citizen.

"It allows teachers to have the same rights as visiting parents," said Mark Miller, a school board member.

Several nearby districts already allow workers to carry concealed weapons if they have a license. "My family has guns and my finance's family has guns, so I'm OK with them, it's just weird to think of a school having teachers with guns," said Jessica Gunzenhauser, a former student.

Under Oregon law, school districts get to decide whether or not school staffers are allowed to carry a firearm if they have a license.

"It's probably a good idea with everything that's been going on, but it's something that it will be hard to get used to because it hasn't been around since I was in school," added Gunzenhauser.

The superintendent says recent violence like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary only solidified some of the board members' decisions.

Scio schools sit in the middle of Linn County and in case of trouble, it can take some time for the nearest deputy to respond.

Supporters of the bill said having staff with weapons could potentially prevent a tragedy.

"We're kind of in the position on the school protection side. We kind of need to fend for ourselves out here," said Miller.

Opponents believe this policy change could provide more access to firearms on campus, which could lead to more accidental shootings, but supporters say that simply isn't true.

"You're many, many more times likely of dying from a staph infection from a little procedure at the hospital than an accidental gunshot," added Miller.

The school board adopted the new rules on March 20.

The superintendent admits he doesn't know if anyone in the district will take advantage of the policy.

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