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GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho (AP) — This academic year marks the first that a remote Idaho school district will make guns available to trained staff members in the event that an active shooter is on the 300-student campus.
Superintendent Greg Alexander says it can take 45 minutes or longer for emergency responders to reach the 300-student Garden Valley School District, prompting officials to buy four rifles, put them in gun safes and train a few staff members in how to use them, KBOI-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1UdeRk3 ).
"People all over the country have called us," Alexander said. "We have had 75 positive comments from around the country compared to one single complaint about the weapons."
Garden Valley's actions are just one of many solutions schools across the nation have adopted to protect their campuses. Some have installed metal detectors, others have expanded school resource officers to secure not only high schools but also middle and elementary schools.
However, in Idaho, it's much more accepted to bring guns into schools as a safety precaution in a state where Second Amendment rights are highly protected.
For example, two years ago an eastern Idaho approved installing gun safes in its high schools and middle schools in order for school resource officers to have easy access to rifles if needed —the same year the Idaho School Board Association rejected a plan to set up gun training for education staff and teacher.
Traci Stevens has a daughter enrolled at the Garden Valley school.
"When you have a school that's out there in the middle of nowhere, anything could happen," said Traci Stevens, whose daughter goes to the school. "When you have guns in the school, I think it makes it feel safer."
A grant-funded restorative justice officer is also joining the campus.
Information from: KBOI-TV, http://www.kboi2.com
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