As the gun debate rages anew in America, the tiny Western mountain town of Garden Valley has been quietly been keeping four rifles and 2,000 rounds of ammo in gun safes for defense of the school, since they were purchased amid some media attention earlier this year.
A select handful of staff have received firearms training and would be responsible for handling the guns in the event of an armed threat to the school, though the district is not announcing exactly who or how many of the staff have been trained.
For the remote, K-12 school in rural Idaho, the security measure is the only option that made sense.
“It can be 45-50 minutes or longer for security personnel or first responders to be here,” said Superintendent Greg Alexander. “That is a long time before you can get to the school to help out.”
“When you have a school that’s out there in the middle of nowhere, anything could happen,” said Traci Stevens, the mother of a student at Garden Valley. “When you have guns in the school, I think it makes it feel safer.”
When the measure was introduced, response from parents was mixed, but support grew quickly after they began to understand the plan more fully, the story says.
“People all over the country have called us,” Alexander said. “We have had 75 positive comments from around the country compared to one single complaint about the weapons.”
The school recently received a grant for a restorative justice officer, to provide extra security.