The Garden Valley School school district in Idaho purchased four rifles and 2,000 rounds of ammunition to help school officials protect students against potential threats, Idaho television station KBOI reported on Saturday.
“We just have to protect our kids and we didn’t want to do it in a haphazard way,” Garden Valley School District Superintendent Marc Gee told KBOI.
School board member Alan Ward told KBOI that the district wants to avoid school invasions.
Officials at the K-12 school recently completed training with the Boise County Sheriff’s Office, and the school district may also spend $2,000 on additional ammunition and armor vests, according to KBOI.
The school will post signs at the entrance for the school warning that officials are armed, and only staff will have access to the weapons, according to KBOI.
Gee told KBOI that he hasn’t received complaints about the school’s new security plan and noted that given the school’s remote location in southwest Idaho, police response to a threat would be slow.
“(If something were to happen) we would have a 30-45 minute potential wait time for police to arrive,” he said. “The loss of life would be just enormous.”
Back in 2013, Garden Valley School District school board member Rosemary Koenig proposed that the state police academy offer gun training to school officials in all school districts in Idaho, but school boards across the state rejected the plan.
Boise County Sheriff Ben Roeber told TPM that while the school district’s plan to arm school officials is not ideal, the sheriff’s department supports the decision “until we can get something better.”
“My preference would be that we were able to — that we had the funding and the resources to staff it with a uniformed officer, as a school resource officer. But we don’t,” Roeber told TPM.
He confirmed that it could take a sheriff’s deputy up to 30 to 45 minutes to respond to an incident, but the response time could vary depending on the day. The sheriff’s office has a sub-station in Garden Valley, but the station is not staffed 24 hours per day.