Recent threats, college shooting prompt renewed calls to arm teachers

Following the shooting at Umpqua Community College (Oregon) on Oct. 1 and a number of threats at local schools — EKU, Jefferson County (Sept. 25 part 1, Sept. 25 part 2) and Bullitt County — there has been a renewed call to arm teachers and school staff.

Update: Six NKY, Cincy schools evacuated after bomb threats on Oct. 20

Update: Burgin Independent (Mercer Co.) cancels school Oct. 22 after threat

Update: JCPS’s Ballard on heightened security Oct. 23

Update: Lincoln County cancels school Nov. 2 after threat

In particular, an organization called POST Kentucky has contacted districts in the Commonwealth and has inquired about speaking at board meetings. POST advocates for training staff using a model similar to the “National Armed Pilots Program” — officially called the Federal Flight Deck Officer program. Here’s a 2014 story on the organization, founded in Northern Kentucky. 

Last week, the Cincinnati Enquirer published an editorial titled “Guns in schools a bad idea.”

In 2013, NBC News found 18 states allow firearms to be carried in schools with varying regulations. In Kentucky, school boards have the authority to make that decision — KRS 527.070(3)(g). Kentucky law prohibits carrying firearms onto any school property except anyone authorized by the school board, “including but not limited to historical displays.” According to the Enquirer, “The language leads some to believe lawmakers didn’t intend the statute to allow for armed teachers, even though it doesn’t prohibit it, and the courts and the Kentucky attorney general have never issued an opinion on the question.”

“I could cite 173 school boards in Kentucky that have tried to keep weapons out of school,” said Brad Hughes, spokesman for the School Boards Association. “I cannot imagine a district, other than having a school resource officer, that has armed its staff.”

Update: Simpson County bomb threat case heads to federal court

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