Boise schools leaders oppose changes to guns-in-schools law

The Boise School District Board and administration strongly oppose HB203, a bill that would prevent school districts from prohibiting those who can carry weapons on school grounds. We believe student and staff safety is a local control issue that should be delegated to individual school districts.

For the Boise School District, we do not support arming teachers. Extensive research and experience have proven that the most effective way to ensure student safety is through a comprehensive and ongoing plan that focuses on:

  • Coordination with local police and emergency service departments
  • Reasonable physical security measures
  • Trained counselors, social workers and behavior intervention specialists
  • Respectful and inclusive school cultures
  • Open communication with students, parents and community members

We trust our teachers and school staff to do what they do best, provide an unparalleled academic environment where our students can thrive. Safety, of course, is a key component and we provide regularly scheduled safety and emergency training in line with the District’s mission, vision, values, strategic plan and policies.

Working closely with the Boise Police Department, Ada County Emergency Management and others, Boise School District has a comprehensive ongoing student safety program. Arming teachers with firearms is not part of the plan, per Employee or Public Use of Weapons Board Policy #5233.

Following are some of the elements of Boise School District’s student safety plan:

  • Regularly scheduled safety and emergency training and drills involving students and staff
  • School facility security
  • Emergency Operations Plans at each school
  • School resource officers assigned to schools
  • Counseling program at schools
  • Behavior intervention specialists to assist students
  • Respectful and inclusive school cultures
  • District Safety Committee

We ask the Legislature to respect the authority of local school boards in this matter. We urge the Legislature to oppose HB203.

Written by the Boise School District’s Board and administrators.

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