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Board member proposes allowing staff to carry handguns at Guthrie schools

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GUTHRIE, Okla. – Talk of whether school staff should be able to carry a handgun on campus is spreading in Guthrie, after a school board member proposed the idea at Monday night’s meeting.

Travis Sallee hopes the school board president will put the topic on the November 9 agenda.

Currently, Guthrie Public Schools has three resource officers.

As a parent of three, Sallee said he wants to see the security strengthen.

"Until we are able to fully staff each building with security personnel, I'm not sure we've done enough," Sallee said.

Guthrie parents and grandparents have mixed emotions about the subject.

"I think having [a gun] in school is a good idea," said Dorothy Burch. "I'm 100 percent for it."

"I don't really think they should," said Cherryl Freeman. "Because, it's kind of dangerous, in a way."

Sallee believes having armed teachers could mean a quicker response when seconds count.

"We have police. They're right there. They're quick," Sallee said. "If you look at the school shootings that have occurred, particularly the Sandy Hook shooting, the first officer arrived, according to reports, in two minutes and 40 seconds, yet 20 first grade students and six staff died.”

Some agree with Sallee.

"That way, if somebody's in there shooting, at least there that can possibly take down the shooter and save some children," Burch said.

Others said allowing guns inside the classroom is too big of a risk.

"Then, you're just kind of scared about the kids," Freeman said. "One of them might get a hold of it then start shooting and then, if they didn't have it, there might have not."

This past spring, Governor Mary Fallin signed into law HB 2014, which allows school boards to permit and select staff members to carry a firearm on campus.

However, those staff members would have to be certified and trained as a security officer or resource officer.