Teachers at a private Christian school in Iowa are being trained to carry guns, in an effort to keep students safe.
The decision, which is reported to have been months in consultation, was made by the school's leaders after a deadly shooting in the Hawkeye state. Selected staff will be trained to respond in a manner that will “allow teachers and students to get to safe positions" in the event of what is known as an 'active shooter' situation.
Siouxland Christian School (SCS) in Sioux City is a non-denominational comprehensive private school, that welcomes children from preschool through 12th grade, and pledges to provide "Academic Excellence in a Christ-Centered Environment".
In the wake of recent events, they have chosen to arm selected staff members, and train them in firearms skills, so they can respond in the event of a gunman on site.
According to a report in The Christian Post, an official memo was sent out to families earlier this month by Superintendent and mum of three, Lindsay Laurich, who said the move was to address the “unfortunate reality” of school shootings.
On Thursday this week a damning report into the primary school shooting in May 2022, in Uvalde, Texas, found "cascading failures" by authorities who handled the incident.
19 children and 2 teachers were killed, in one of the deadliest school shootings in US history.
The report by the Department of Justice found officers who responded to the attack at Robb Elementary "demonstrated no urgency", taking more than an hour to access the building.
The Post says Laurich told parents at SCS it was after a further shooting, at a high school in their own state - which claimed the lives of a student and the headteacher - that the school decided their own action was needed, "...to secure our building and to ensure that your child(ren) are protected at school.”
The number of people, per capita, killed by guns in the United States is seven times higher than in Canada, and about 340 times higher than in the United Kingdom. Children in schools across America are routinely given 'active shooter' drills at the start of every school year - something that is virtually unheard of in other countries.
Laurich said the armed SCS staff, who will remain anonymous, will be trained to “go directly to the threat” and are tasked with providing a response "until law enforcement is able to arrive.”
“School buildings should be safe. Teachers and children should not be afraid to come to school,” Laurich wrote, according to the Post. “We must employ all of the tools and resources at our disposal in order to be prepared for worst case scenarios."
She added “...with God’s help this layer of protection will never need to be deployed.”
Premier News has contacted SCS for comment.