Jay School Corporation approves option to have guns in schools

The school board approved that plan in a 6-0 vote Monday.

Posted: May 14, 2018 11:21 PM
Updated: May 17, 2018 11:43 AM

PORTLAND, Ind. (WFFT) - Schools across Indiana are getting extra money to help increase security.

The state government approving a $5 million plan during its special session Monday.

The measure was one that Governor Eric Holcomb insisted lawmakers act on before the session ended in March.

Schools in our area are making plans for that money.

Including Jay School Corporation, whose board just approved a comprehensive plan that includes putting guns in the schools.

The plan is more than just securing the entrances with a locked door and a buzzing system. It also includes making sure there are guns inside each building.

"I think in today's day and age it really needs to be there," said Cindy Carter, who has grandchildren who go to the school.

The school board approved that plan in a 6-0 vote Monday.

Related Story: Jay School Corporation developing comprehensive security plan

The plan has several steps: prevention, securing the buildings and increasing armed security, which includes putting guns in buildings with trained staff.

"There's just too much going on that you just aren't safe, your kids aren't safe in school," Carter said.

She said having the guns in the buildings is a great way to keep students in Jay County safe.

"You're not going to get everything you need in terms of help if there is an active shooter in the building unless someone as access to the guns," said Carter.

However, not everyone in town thinks this is a good idea.

"What if the kids get ahold of them. That's my biggest concern," said Terry Hedges.

The guns will be locked in a safe placed strategically in each building, away from students and under surveillance.

Only staff members who go through training on the guns will have access to the safes.

They would have to be approved by the superintendent, sheriff and board.

"We would train with police in our county so those employees who would volunteer to be a part of this know our policeman," said superintendent Jeremy Gulley.

Gulley put the plan together after a deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida with hopes to have it approved in 90 days.

That happened Monday.

Earlier this year, Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick said Hoosier teachers shouldn't be armed.

Gulley said the teachers won't be armed because the guns won't be kept where students can access them.

"We think this is a sensible middle ground on that it provides the ability to confront this threat and protect our kids," said Gulley.

"I think it should be the police coming in instead of someone else," said Hedges.

Hedges said she thinks the school should come up with a different approach to protecting students.

"More police on campus or something like that, dogs, anything besides the guns," she said.

The guns won't be put in the schools right away. That's because staff members have to be trained before the guns will go in.

That training is expected to happen during the next school year.

You can learn more about the plan here.

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