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WICHITA, Kansas – The state’s largest school district is balking at the opportunity to arm staff and teachers under a new Kansas law taking effect July 1st.
USD 259 board members will likely approve a one-page policy in response to the new law that continues to ban anyone except police from carrying guns on school grounds.
“The school districts have the ability to create a policy that works for them and that’s what we’ve done,” said Terri Moses, USD 259 Executive Director of Safety and Security.
The state law passed earlier this year reduces restrictions on where conceal and carry permit holders are allowed to bring their guns.
The law allows school districts to decide if select teachers or other staff with conceal and carry permits can carry firearms on school grounds.
Board members took their first look at the official policy at their meeting Monday night.
“There is a time and place to carry concealed,” said board member Jeff Davis. “But a public building, schools, churches are not the place.”
After the Sandy Hook massacre, the NRA and many gun proponents came out in favor of arming teachers to prevent school shootings.
Daniel Nagel, a teacher at White Elementary, had hoped to address the board on the issue but didn’t meet the deadline to sign up to speak.
Nagel was arrested last month and suspended without pay after bringing his gun to school.
“I feel it was my responsibility to not only teach health and physical education but also to protect my children at all costs,” said Nagel.
In the statement Nagel hoped to read, he said he made the right choice to defy the law and bring his gun to school out of fears that the district isn’t doing enough to keep dangerous, armed criminals out of school buildings.
“I understand where people are coming from,” said Nagel. “It makes them feel good to put up a sign and they think there will be no more guns here. The reality is mass murders see this sign as a bulls-eye.”
USD 259 will likely pass their policy at their next board meeting.
The City of Wichita and SedgwickCounty are looking at asking for exceptions from the new law.
The city council meets Tuesday with county commissioners addressing the issue Wednesday.
Nagel returns to court on misdemeanor charges in July.