BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill that would have allowed teachers to carry guns in the classroom. However, some local superintendents say they don't need the state's permission to arm teachers or other staff.
There are no set plans to allow staff members to carry weapons, but two local superintendents say they're looking into it. It's called dual employment. It would be a pretty long process, but administrators say it's possible with or without a new law.
The Poplar Bluff School District has ten campuses and only two school police officers.
"For us to add a school resource officer at every campus, we probably aren't going to be able to do that within our budget," said Superintendent Chris Hon.
Hon said that's why the board is talking about another option.
"Instead of adding a staff of 40-50 thousand dollars, maybe you could take an employee that you have, it wouldn't have to be a teacher; it could be other staff members, if they were licensed security guards to carry weapons," Hon said.
This means, the school could have dual employees, staff members who are also trained security guards.
It's something one parent of two Poplar Bluff students said she's all for.
"The only way we can protect our children is to allow trained teachers to conceal and carry firearms," said Michelle Crutchfield.
Poplar Bluff isn't the only Butler County school thinking about this option.
"In rural schools, it's very common for people to do more than one job." said Brad Hagood, superintendent at Neelyville.
Hagood said his main concern is how far the school is from police.
"We are about 15 miles or so from county law enforcement," Hagood said.
He said having someone in the building to protect students would give him peace-of-mind.
"Arresting power, we don't need that. We just need someone that can be a first responder that, when law enforcement does show up, then we can back off," Hagood said.
Still, Hagood said there are still steps to take, like checking with the school's insurance provider.
"Are they still going to be willing to cover us, if we allow that?" Hagood said.
Both superintendents agree, community input would have to come first.
"We still have local control and whatever or community decides to do in this issue, our board will listen," Hon said.
Superintendent Hon said he knows about other Missouri schools that have taken this approach in adding extra security. Still, Hon and Hagood say there is still a lot to consider before it happens in Butler County.