In North Dakota there is a big resource gap between rural schools and urban schools. The urban schools have large tax bases which allow them the sort of budget flexibility it takes to hire law enforcement resource officers. The rural schools, not so much.
So a creative solution to the problem is legislation which would allow school boards, after meeting certain requirements for training, to arm designated employees.
Legislation to do that has been introduced in the last two sessions. In 2013 it passed the House, but failed in the Senate. In 2015 the legislation also passed the House (with some colorful testimony from the sponsor Rep. Dwight Kiefert), but again failed in the Senate today.
Unfortunately, what seems to have killed the legislation is an attitude among certain lawmakers that only cops should have guns. Especially in schools. Which doesn’t make any sense.
Frankly, I’d rather loosen up prohibition on guns in schools than keep putting more cops in the schools. As we’ve seen with certain incidents here in North Dakota, putting cops in schools has negative side effects including the escalation of merely adolescent behavior into criminal behavior.
I don’t want to live in a society where the only people empowered in our defense are cops. I don’t want to live in a society where we’ve got cops lurking around ever corner. That’s called a police state, and it ought to be something the proponents of a free society are opposed to.
Rep. Kiefert’s bill is a creative solution to the real problem of school security. Sadly, far too many people get the vapors at the mere mention of “guns in schools,” and that’s too bad.
The final vote was 17-28.