WB board asks for input on armed staff

BELOIT– The West Branch school board is asking community members to share their thoughts on arming teachers at the districts’ buildings.

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19 in the high school media center and are encouraging community members to participate in the public input portion discussing the proposed idea of arming teachers in the district. The proposal would allow select qualified staff members to carry a concealed gun on campuses.

Schools Superintendent Timothy Saxton said Friday the board has been discussing the issue the past several months. Data has already been collected from online surveys for members of the staff and community and the upcoming public input session is the final step before making a decision, he said.

“We expect some support and some opposition,” Saxton said. “But we felt at this time the public should have the opportunity to speak up about what they feel on the subject.”

Saxton said he plans to speak on the subject before opening it up for public comment. He said the public comment portion of the meeting is typically limited to 30 minutes in order for the board to conduct other business.

“This is not a simple decision,” he said. “It takes time to implement if the board chooses that direction, and there is a lot to look at.”