Iowa school to have armed staff members, including teachers

Thursday, January 25, 2024
Iowa school to have armed staff members, including teachers
Should teachers be armed? Siouxland Christian School in Sioux City, Iowa has decided to arm staff members, including teachers.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- The topic of arming teachers in schools comes up periodically after shootings take place.

Now, one school in Iowa is turning that talk into action and arming staff members, KTIV reported.

"About 18 months ago, we just started looking at options. And obviously, to take the step to have armed staff in our school is a big one. And it requires a lot of conversation with a lot of stakeholders," said Siouxland Christian School Supt. Lindsay Laurich.

It's a big step in school security.

"My ultimate responsibility here is to protect this building to make sure that everybody who comes in is safe here, and I simply couldn't live with myself if I knew there were options. There were things that were available to us... and we didn't take use of them," Laurich said.

Laurich said improving safety and security at Siouxland Christian School is paramount for the administration.

"We think about continuous improvement in terms of learning, in terms of you know, curriculum, in terms of our staff, safety goes into that bucket," Laurich said.

The administration at Siouxland Christian Schools said they did not take this step lightly. A lot of research, a lot of conversation and a lot of praying went into whether this decision was right for them.

"In a worst case situation, the action that's required is going to be incredibly challenging. But it has to be done to protect all of the other students and staff in the building," Laurich said.

Laurich said those who were selected volunteered to do so and were carefully vetted and trained.

While the school won't state how many staff are armed on campus or who they are, she said those individuals are prepared to step in should a life-threatening incident occur on school grounds.

"It's something we hope we never have to utilize, that it's just quietly in the background here at our school. It is, it is there in the worst of the worst possible scenarios. But if that ever does happen, then we're ready to respond, and we can do so in seconds," Laurich said.

It's worth pointing out that as a private school, Siouxland Christian has much broader leeway to implement a policy like this. For a public school to do so would require buy-in from elected leaders.