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West Nodaway R-1 is now considering allowing teachers to carry guns

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West Nodaway R-1 School District

(BURLINGTON JUNCTION, Mo.) A school in Northwest Missouri is considering allowing teachers to carry guns.

The discussion comes on the heels of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Tx. that killed 19 students and two teachers.

Now, West Nodaway is looking into the school protection officer program. A 2014 Missouri state law allows school districts to designate teachers or administrators as school protection officers and be able to carry firearms after completing state approved training.

"In Nodaway County, if you think about it, there are seven high schools, I mean, seven different districts," said Mitch Barnes who is the Superintendent of West Nodaway R-1. "So if we call Nodaway County, we say we need help--how long does it take them to get here? It might be five minutes, it might be 25. So the thought of having that protection if you need it, it makes me feel better than not."

Barnes said the school protection officers program is just one of many pieces to the puzzle for the school board to further enhance the safety of the school and the students inside.

"Our playground doesn't have a fence around it. So we talked about doing a fence to fix the playground. Our doors at our high school for example are the old hollow core doors, they're not safety doors, they open into the hallway, so you can't barricade them. So I just went through a list of safety things that I thought we really need to look at," said Barnes.

Updating security cameras is also on the list. Barnes said the county recently passed a $1 tax levy that will help pay for the improvements for the school.

According to the statute, before teachers are approved of going through the school protection officers program, a hearing must take place.

Teachers and administrators must previously have a conceal and carry permit and then they have to go through the training to become certified.

The board has not set a date for public comment on the matter. The board will meet again on Thursday to discuss future plans.

Barnes also commented the district, or other districts in Nodaway County do not have SRO officers on site.


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