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Sterling considers gun policy for schools

STERLING  The Sterling Board of Education will discuss the prospect of training and arming teachers at its next meeting. 

Unofficial talk of arming teachers in the classroom began back in November when Superintendent Kent Lemons and a school board member completed a concealed carry class. Lemons, who hails from the Texas panhandle, said teachers with access to firearms are not uncommon in districts where he'd previously worked. So the idea was brought up to the school board. 

He maintains the Feb. 14 shooting at a school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead had no impact on the school's decision to move forward with the vote. 

"We decided we were going through the steps to lay it out and see if that's a direction we would want to go," Lemons said. "It landed on March 13 and that was when it was decided to vote on it."

Public details of the proposal are being kept to a minimum in the name of school safety. The board will go into executive session to discuss whether to implement the new policy and then further details on how to do so. Lemons said not every teacher would be allowed to have access to a firearm in school. The type of weapon, the amount of ammunition, the location of the weapon and who would have access would be limited and not divulged to the public. 

If the board decides to move forward with the proposal and irons out details, it will come out of executive session and only vote one way or another. Lemons understands some might not like the secrecy, but that is something that cannot be helped.

"There's very few things you can do in executive session that don't have to be on the outside," he said. "Dealing with handguns, you have some discretion for school safety reasons."

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