The Garden City Telegram
7/13/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Gun block

School districts have cause to keep guns at a distance.

Give local school officials credit for using common sense when it comes to guns in schools.

The Garden City USD 457 administration recently presented the Board of Education with a proposed policy that would prohibit district employees with concealed-carry permits from bringing guns to school or school activities.

The proposal was needed due to gun-friendly legislation out of the Kansas Statehouse that in part would let school districts decide whether to allow employees to bring firearms to work.

Supporters of opening the door to guns in schools believe teachers and staff members packing heat would have a better chance of defending themselves and protecting others in the midst of a shooting incident. They also claim would-be shooters wouldn't target a school if they believe others in the building have guns.

Thankfully, not everyone buys into such suspect theories when it comes to firearms in schools and other public places.

With schools in particular, safety always is paramount. School officials have long been vigilant about pursuing sensible, proven security features — without a need for teachers to tote guns.

Another issue for school boards: The insurance firm used by most school districts in Kansas reportedly will not insure districts allowing employees to be armed in schools.

The Iowa-based company no doubt acknowledged how encouraging guns in schools only would increase the risk of shootings on school property, accidental or otherwise. The insurer noted on-site security on school grounds instead should be provided by qualified law enforcement officers.

Kansas lawmakers failed to consider all possible angles as they set out to expand gun rights, even as other states were considering ways to tighten gun policies — the latter being the more logical response to a horrific school shooting that left 20 elementary school children and six adult staff members dead in Newtown, Conn., and other mass shootings.

Clearly, insurance would be just one potential problem in any school district eager to bring guns into schools.

With that in mind, Garden City's school board should find it easy to endorse a plan to prohibit employees from bringing their guns to school.