We recently covered the Kingsburg Joint High School District’s decision to allow select faculty and staff with the appropriate permits to carry CCWs on campus. Superintendent Randy Morris, the architect of the new policy, was kind enough to speak to us via telephone about the board’s decision.
MJ: So tell me, what was the motivation for this policy shift?
RM: Well, we were concerned about that three to five minute window before first responders arrive. Our primacy goal is student safety and minimizing causalities. We looked at a lot of school shootings and other events and came to the conclusion that armed staff were the most effective step we could take.
MJ: I’ve read that the plan is to start with five armed faculty or staff members. Any plans to expand form there.
RM: Right now we’re starting with five folks—selected by me—and we’ll see how it goes from there. The number might go up or it might go down, but I don’t anticipate it going down.
MJ: I’ve spoken to Chief Dadian, and he’s said that he’ll be working with you on response procedures and training. Can you say a bit about that?
RM: Sure. We’re working with the Kingsburg police department and the sheriff’s departments of the three counties we serve. Law enforcement will know who’s armed, and we’re coordinating with them so that our staff understand what to expect when the police arrive and how to handle it accordingly.
MJ: What about additional training for armed staff?
RM: Right now we’re working with the Kingsburg PD on that, as I’ve said. With them, we’re evaluating other options for training. We’ve gotten a great response, with a lot of experts offering their services, some for free.
MJ: That’s outstanding. So you’ve gotten a pretty positive response from law enforcement?
RM: Absolutely. All the agencies involved have been very supportive and given wholehearted approval.
MJ: What kind of response have you gotten from teachers and school staff in the district?
RM: That’s a bit more mixed. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from faculty, both positive and negative. There are a lot of concerns about bringing guns into schools and the safety issues that might create. I would say, however that the overall response has been supportive.
MJ: I’m just curious: are you a shooter yourself?
RM: I’m comfortable with it. I grew up shooting and hunting, all of those things country boys are supposed to do.
MJ: Excellent. Do you anticipate other districts following your example?
RM: I’d like to think so. Student safety is the issue of first importance for any educator or school, and I hope we’re starting a positive move in that direction.
Morris is an engaging and thoughtful guy—I enjoyed our conversation. The policy change for Kingsburg’s school district is well considered, and should be supported by the broader CCW community nationwide. USA Carry will continue to follow the story and we’ll bring updates to you as they happen.