White County school system may allow guns for admins, board members

(WLFI Photo)
(WLFI Photo)

MONON, Ind. (WLFI) – Guns could soon be allowed at schools in the North White School Corporation. The school board is considering a policy that would allow administrators and school board members to carry firearms.

“I think it’s a good place to start,” said Merrill Van Meter, a father.

Van Meter was one of five people to speak in favor of allowing North White administrators and school board members to carry a concealed firearm on school grounds and at school events. He said it’s the right first step to keep his kids safe in the event of a possible emergency, like an active shooter.

“Glad we got a board that is looking to stick up for what the Constitution says,” said Van Meter.

The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, came up in Monday’s school board meeting. The board had its first reading on a policy that would allow administrators and school board members to carry a firearm on school grounds.

Board President Shannon Mattix said after brainstorming ideas to make North White safer, metal detectors and a school security guard were ruled out.

“Many times, people talk about using grants. Well, at one point a grant runs out. A grant is our tax dollars that aren’t being used at the state or federal level, so when the grant dollars run out, who’s going to pay for it? With school funding the way it is in the state of Indiana, that’s not a real sustained program that we can carry on for a long time,” said Mattix.

Mattix said the policy does not mandate that administrators or school board carry a firearm. It gives them the option to. He said they will be provided training to make sure they are comfortable to carry the firearm. Under current law, individual school corporations have the option to ban firearms on school property.

“The Indiana School Board Association recommended that the school corporations do put together a policy, you can come out and just say ‘no’ which is not an option here with our board because we firmly believe that we have that option to attempt to protect our students,” said Mattix.

Monday was the first reading for the policy. The board is set to have a second reading and vote on the policy at its meeting in April.

Most of the parents at the meeting want to see the policy include teachers. Board members said that’s something they can revisit down the road.

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