A private Christian school in Iowa announced some of its staff will be armed while on campus in a bid to better protect the school from potential attacks.
“The staff who have been selected and trained will remain anonymous, and with God’s help this layer of protection will never need to be deployed. We expect no changes to the day to day experiences of students and staff,” the superintendent of Siouxland Christian School, located in Sioux City, Lindsay Laurich said in a letter to the school community last week, which was provided to Fox News Digital.
The school is not detailing how many staff members will be armed while on campus, or their identities, “in order to protect the staff who are taking this courageous responsibility,” Laurich told Fox News Digital. She added that the school had been considering the policy for a year before the official announcement last week.
“I would just add that we have been working on this plan for over a year. However, we felt that this was a necessary step that was needed for our school community,” Laurich said.
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The announcement comes after a mass shooting at Perry High School in Iowa left a sixth grader killed, and four other students and a staffer injured.
“It is an unfortunate reality that schools have become the target of those who wish to do evil. Around our nation and sadly more close to home we see threats emerging on a regular basis. We pray for the community of Perry, Iowa, which experienced an active shooter event,” Laurich’s letter to the school community last week states.
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Laurich told Fox Digital that following the shooting, she read a Wall Street Journal article on the tragedy and learned of the K-12 School Shooting Database.
“As of this email there have already been 4 incidents and 7 victims. That adds up to more days than we have been back in school since the new year began,” Laurich told Fox News Digital in her email on Monday.
Laurich’s letter to the school community detailed that “school safety is our highest priority,” and that training and arming certain staffers to directly take on an immediate threat will better protect students in the event tragedy strikes.
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“Certain members of SCS staff who have been specifically trained will be armed on campus. The School Board and Administration have developed the process for selecting and training staff with input from law enforcement, our insurance carrier, legal advisors and industry experts. This has been a serious and diligent process over the course of the past year,” the letter states.
“In the event of an active shooter event these armed SCS staff are trained to go directly to the threat. Their response will allow teachers and students to get to safe positions and will provide an active response until law enforcement is able to arrive,” she added.
Laurich added that the local sheriff, Woodbury County Sheriff Chad Sheehan, has been a great resource amid the policy roll-out.
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Schools across the nation have increasingly begun arming certain staffers in recent years to help combat potential threats. A Fox News poll from August 2022 shows that 48% of people favor arming teachers, while experts have previously told Fox News Digital that “hardening” schools with armed guards, armed teachers and additional safety measures, such as security cameras and heavy doors, help better protect students and staffers from potential tragedy.
Laurich noted in her letter to the school community that arming certain staff, though a difficult decision, was “necessary.”
“On a personal note, I want you to know that this decision was a difficult one. When I entered the teaching profession it was unimaginable that someone would shoot students and teachers in a school. But the landscape has changed. If a tragic event were to occur at SCS, I need to be able to stand in front of you and say that we have done all that we can do. This is a necessary step we must take,” she wrote.