How One Oregon School District Plans to Defend Against School Shootings

Teachers in Oregon’s St. Helens School District will now be able to carry concealed guns in school after the board of education voted to lift a ban put into effect just earlier this year.

The school board voted 4-1 for the policy Wednesday, ABC News reported. It’s a return to a previous rule after the board voted in March to ban teachers from carrying concealed at the district’s seven schools. New board members have been elected since the initial vote.

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Just one parent contacted the board immediately after the vote to voice disapproval about the decision, ABC reported.

“I think if you had teachers with guns you’d have a lot less rampages and incidents going as far as they’ve gone,” Israel Ray, the parent of a high school freshman, told Portland’s KOIN-TV.

But high school sophomore Sara Smuin told the station she had a problem with teachers packing.

“If a teacher shot a person in front of everybody in the class, that would honestly scare me, and that’s not OK,” Smuin said.

School shootings have become a major focus of attention, particularly after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December. This month in Nevada, a 12-year-old boy killed a teacher and wounded two classmates with a gun.

“I would say that the risk is more likely that somebody who isn’t following the law is a higher risk to your child coming on to school property than the one that is going to do it legally,” school board chairman Marshall Porter told Portland’s KATU-TV.

He acknowledged that “having it at school creates an issue.”

“But I think our teachers are responsible, our community is pretty knowledgeable about guns,” Porter said.