Too many questions remain to support hasty guns policy

There are still too many unanswered (and unthought of) questions for Uinta County School District No. 1 to approve a policy that would allow its staff to carry firearms in local schools. Here are several of the unanswered questions:

Curriculum changes and other district issues are considered over a period of months or even years and are based on expert recommendations and hard evidence; so why is the district abandoning these processes for this issue, which has no expert recommendations or hard evidence and is completely opposite the position of the National Education Association?

What effect will this have on the budget? Has the board determined an amount of money Uinta County School District No. 1 is willing to spend on increased liability coverage, firearm training, psychological evaluations, and biometric lock boxes to implement this policy? What else will be cut to pay for this?

Have non-lethal means been considered, such as Tasers, stun guns, etc.? If not, why not?

Will education be presented to teachers prior to the application process from experts in security and what the responsibility of being armed really entails?

Will a staff member who does not pass the psychological evaluation be removed from a teaching position, as well? Do we want someone who can’t pass a psych exam teaching our kids, especially if they might be disgruntled because they’ve been denied a request to be armed?

Who is donating the firearm training for teachers? Is it acceptable for outside groups to pay for such training? Shouldn’t this be a district responsibility if the district decides to move forward? Is the school district for sale?

What policies are in place for instances when someone approved to carry shouldn’t be carrying due to hardships such as divorce, loss of loved one, mental illness, other stressors, the use of medications, etc.?

Who will be held accountable if there is an accident involving a staff member’s firearm? Who will be held accountable if a teacher who’s been approved to carry “freezes up,” similar to how a much better trained and more experienced law enforcement officer reportedly did during last month’s mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida?

Who will be held accountable if someone is injured or killed because an armed teacher charged with protecting students isn’t able to stop an active shooter? Should teachers be asked to shoot one of their students if one of them is a threat or an active shooter? What happens if a district staff member accidentally injures or kills a child while trying to protect students from an active shooter?

Why is the district pursuing a policy that will completely and drastically change the culture of our schools before implementing small cultural changes with staff, parents, and students, like ensuring doors are locked during the day and requiring visitors to check in at the office? Are schools enforcing current visitor access policies?

Why do parents get multiple notices via email, text and voicemail for things like half-day hat day or snow days, but only one email about the School Safety policy survey, in which the email text said nothing at all about firearms so many parents might not have understood the importance of taking the survey?

What is the district doing to address the multiple reports of those who said the link to the School Safety policy survey didn’t work for them?

Is the district going to send out an anonymous survey to staff so they don’t feel pressured to respond a certain way to administrators and aren’t fearful of answering the questions honestly?

Why have some school board members voted for this policy even after expressing disagreement and opposition?

What does the district plan to do if parents make the decision to homeschool their children because of this policy?

 Is the district willing to lose good teachers who might resign as a result of this policy?


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