Southern IL school discusses possibility of arming school offici - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southern IL school discusses possibility of arming school officials

(Source: Brittany Jacob, KFVS) (Source: Brittany Jacob, KFVS)
ULLIN, IL (KFVS) -

National debates are rising over if teachers should be armed in schools to protect your children.

One school in Ullin, Illinois is already starting to have the conversation with lawyers.

Superintendent of Century School District, Landon Sommer, had a meeting last Friday with the School Board about potentially arming administrators at his school.

“I can say for certain that we are not looking to arm every single teacher in this building, every single staff member in this building. That is not our goal by any means," said Sommer. “At this point we are simply looking at all of our options to keep all of their kids safe.”

Last week President Donald Trump called for arming and training teachers in the wake of the Parkland school massacre, but Sommer wants to set the record straight.

"That option of having someone on sight armed has been a conversation that came up …we have not gone very far down that rabbit hole as far as official board action or this is something that is happening…it’s just a conversation that has come up …a possibility when it comes to school safety," he said.

Century School District has put many other safety measures in place to make a safer environment for children. For example, a key fob access video intercom system, metal detectors, surveillance cameras, increase law enforcement presence, and even the popular CRISIS GO phone app. 

“I can’t sit here an say that arming staff in any school throughout the nation is going to prevent something," Sommer said. "Basically we are just doing everything we can to be proactive in hopes that we don’t have to use it but that we are ready in case anything happens.”

Century School District did have a recent threat by a student. Sommer said, "We did have a threatening comment made by a student earlier in the year which we investigated and dealt with swiftly and appropriately."

According to Representative Terri Bryant, carrying a gun on school property is a federal crime. However, the Illinois state law does allow districts to hire employees to carry guns. 

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