Armed School Staff Still Up For Discussion In Cody

Jan 9, 2018

A member of the public addresses the Park County School Board on the proposed policy to arm school staff.
Credit Kamila Kudelska

Most of those who spoke at a public hearing Monday night in Cody told the Park County District #6 school board that they did not support a proposal to allow armed personnel in public schools.

Two-thirds of those testifying said that guns should be the last, not first security measure. Instead, money should go into introducing smarter security technologies in school buildings. Yetzi Daren Jobaner said even in Wyoming there are places guns don't belong.

“I’m also a fifth-generation Wyomingite,” said Jobaner. “I've been around guns all my life. My grandfather was a big game outfitter. Most of my family still hunts, we own guns and I’m not anti-gun. This policy is a reactive one that feeds on paranoia. I urge you to look for common sense, proactive ways to better secure our schools.”

However, others argued that schools in rural areas like Wapiti are too far away for a quick response time from law enforcement officers.  

Marjorie Talen, a resident of Wapiti said it's better to be prepared than sorry.  

“It’s logical to be proactive and take responsibility for one’s safety,” said Talen. “The police will not arrive in time. There is no Prince Charming rescuing you. Chief Baker or any other law enforcement officer will tell you they will not get there in time.”

The Park County District #6 school board started debating the policy after the state legislature passed a law during the 2017 session allowing school districts to choose whether their employees can carry guns.

The board will debate the proposal three times before taking a final vote.