Local parents speak on whether school staff should be armed - KMOV.com

Local parents speak on whether school staff should be armed

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Clayton High School. Credit: KMOV Clayton High School. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Parents were holding their kids a little tighter Wednesday afternoon after 17 people were killed in shooting at a school in Florida.

Many of them might be thinking of ways to have a sensitive family conversation about guns and school safety knowing locked doors, passcodes and other restraints might not work all the time.

"It’s sad to keep seeing stuff happen like that so often," said a St. Louis father.

His wish is close to, if not the same, as most parents'.

"I really want to figure out a way to stop the school shootings and stuff like that," added the father.

To him, it's a must if he wants any chance of sharing more visits to the park with his eight-year-old daughter.

"It's terrible. Absolutely terrible. I think every teacher should have a concealed open-carry, at any age group, to be able to protect the children," said Amber Cowley.

In 2014, Missouri lawmakers passed a bill letting schools choose which staff members could carry a gun on campus to help keep elementary, middle and high school students safe.

"I actually would recommend some of the teachers or a security guard are armed in the building," added father who took his daughter to the park. 

State Representative Dean Dohrman, who represents Johnson, Pettis, and Saline Counties, wants the same thing at the college level.

The higher education committee passed his bill to the Rules Committee on Wednesday.

"The bill is intended as an extra layer of protection if an emergency situation arises on campus that would threaten lives," said Rep. Dohrman. "It is a common sense approach with many safeguards in place to control and contain life-threatening events."

The mother of an elementary school student is hesitant about such rules on any campus but is more accepting with conditions.

"You’d have to do a background checks on all of the teachers and make sure they are sane enough, but I will support it," said Audrey Stumborg.

Rep. Dohrman says the 2014 law calls for school boards to approve who's chosen to carry guns and gun-holders to complete training. 

It is unclear which districts are taking advantage of the law as who are allowed to carry a gun is not advertised.

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