WCSD Board of Trustees reaffirms opposition to arming educators

WCSD Board of Trustees reaffirms opposition to arming educators

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees has reaffirmed its opposition to proposals to arm educators and education support professionals in its schools.

The resolution adopted by the Board calls upon state and federal authorities to provide funding for school districts in Nevada and across the nation for additional school police officers, counselors, psychologists, social workers, firearm safety education programs, and security features in school buildings.

The WCSD School Police Department, National Association of School Resource Officers, and other law enforcement professionals fully trained and certified in the use of firearms do not support the arming of educators or educational support professionals.

The vote was taken during the Board’s regular public meeting on Tuesday, June 12.

“We recognize that gun violence represents a clear and present danger to our students, staff, families, and community, but our educators are not trained law enforcement officers,” said Board President Katy Simon Holland. “We work closely with our outstanding WCSD School Police Department, Emergency Manager James Hendrickson, and local, state, and national authorities to conduct regular safety trainings and drills for our students and staff members. We believe that arming our educators would pose a great safety risk, and we agreed today that we needed to oppose any move toward allowing weapons in our classrooms or on our campuses.”

“Our WCSD School Police Officers undergo rigorous and ongoing training in the use of firearms, weapons retention, and threat recognition and we are prepared to respond to all situations surrounding campus safety,” said WCSD School Police Chief Jason Trevino. “As a District, we are committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment in our schools, and arming our educators directly contradicts that mission. Our officers are fully trained and certified in the use of firearms, and we feel strongly that educators should not keep weapons accessible in their classrooms or on their person.”

The Board members’ resolution is consistent with reports released by several federal agencies including the Departments of Education, Justice, and Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which emphasize that the possibility of school gun violence does not in any way justify the arming of school personnel other than trained law enforcement officers. Prominent national education associations including those representing school counselors, principals, psychologists, resource officers, and social workers have also cautioned against ‘seemingly quick and potentially harmful solutions, such as arming school personnel’ which would ‘cause more harm than good.’

Trustees directed staff to send the resolution to state and federal representatives following the meeting.

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