PORTLAND, Ind.-- The Jay School Corporation says they are moving forward with a plan that will give a select group of teachers and staff members access to guns.
The guns will be placed in biometric safes at strategic locations inside district schools. Superintendent Jeremy Gulley says the district decided to move forward with the plan, after studying police response times to active shooter situations.
“We’re consistently seeing that if you cannot confront the active shooter with an armed response, then the killing continues,” Gulley said.
Gulley says the group of teachers and staff that have access to the gun safes will come from a pool of volunteers screened by the district and the sheriff’s department. The volunteers will also have to undergo psychological evaluations, and complete a minimum of 27 hours of training. Once the criteria are met, Gulley says bio-metric safes will be strategically placed in each of the district’s eight schools. As safeguards, the safes will be monitored by camera, and have anti tampering measures.
“We think this solution is sensible, it’s a middle ground, and it will be well and thoughtfully implemented,” Gulley said.
While attention grabbing, Gulley says the gun safes are just one part of the district’s new strategy which also includes the hardening of all district schools and facilities, and the increasing of education, awareness, and communication about potential threats.
“These are our kids, and we’re going to do what is ever necessary to protect them,” he said.
Gulley adds that the moves is one they believe is borne of necessity. Currently, he says the district cannot afford to have armed security or Student Resource Officers at each of its schools.
While he won’t say how many safes and guns will be placed in each school, Gulley the total cost is expected to set the district back $50,000-75,000. He added that the district is expected to purchase the guns within the next 30 days.
If additional resources become available to the district and armed security or SROs can be placed at each district school, Gulley says the district would gladly stop using the gun safes.
To view the entire safety plan of the Jay School Corporation you can click here.