Gun proposal draws a rapid recall reaction

A North Idaho school trustee who is pushing a plan to arm teachers could face a recall election.

Steve Youngdahl

Steve Youngdahl

Opponents have gathered 75 percent of the signatures needed to launch a recall election against Lake Pend Oreille School Board chair Steve Youngdahl, according to Jessica Robinson of Boise State Public Radio.

“There’s a fantasy that’s out there, that if we have all of these armed teachers, we’re going to deter this threat and the teachers are going to be able to return fire and it’s going to be more like a ‘Die Hard’ movie than a classroom,” Tom Bokowy, a Sandpoint area parent, told Robinson.

State law allows school boards to permit teachers and other individuals to carry guns on campus. Several other districts are considering allowing teachers to carry guns to school.

Lake Pend Oreille’s superintendent Shawn Woodward opposes Youngdahl’s proposal, and a state school safety task force frowns on arming teachers.

  • Adam Collins

    Why would any responsible, and mature adult seek to turn school buildings into a Wild West Show? Thank you concerned citizens for your efforts to unseat this truly misguided, and obviously ignorant school board member.

  • Erik Simpson

    Adam, have you watched the news this week? Two dead teachers and one dead student (the assassin) in two incidents at schools.

  • Adam Collins

    Erik, good point. However, put yourself in the position of the teachers. In the confusion of an in-school shooting, where the perpatrators and the victims are unknown, confusion is omnipresent, and the screams of students are deafening, would a cadre of armed teachers really aid the sitluation, or make the incident significantly worse? Imagine several scared teachers firing at some student who they think might be the shooter. How many student victims would this create?

  • Randy Schrader

    Mr. Collins,
    Idaho Code 18-3302D allows local school boards to authorize certain individuals to carry and or possess a weapon on school grounds which could include teachers. Your comments of wanting to turn schools into a wild west show because someone is trying to protect students is ridiculous. Training volunteer school staff to be first responders in incidents of violence should be a requirement of the legislature and local school boards. Have you ever experienced school violence or seen it break out? It sounds as if you have experience since you seem to know what it sounds like. I have been around when violence breaks out including one with a gun.Teachers are the frontline of defense of other students. Should we continue to expect teachers and school to be defenseless especially in districts with no immediate access to law enforcement?

    • Adam Collins

      Randy, are you so certain that in the confusion of gunfire within a crowded school, that an armed teacher would know precisely who the perpetrator is? I think not. The likely result would be panic, resulting in armed individuals simply shooting at what they believe is the cause. Additionally, do you really believe that the police responding to such an incident would approve of multiple, armed and panicked individuals? How about responding emergency medical service personnel? The simple fact is that more guns in schools will result in more casualties in schools. Arming teachers will not solve the problem of school shootings, it will likely exacerbate them. In fact, if every individual was constantly armed, it is mistake to believe that we would have a much more peaceful society. If this was accurate, the “Old West” would have been completely devoid of violence.

  • Michael Weeks

    You people act as if they’d just pick a teacher out of the group and say “Well, here you go!” Im sure there are plenty of capable teachers in this state that could handle a firearm with confidence.