Some parents expressed concern, presenting data about school shootings and requesting more information about the training the teachers would receive.
Other parents stated that they were grateful for the policy change and believe it is necessary to better ensure the safety of children at school.
"I think they should be afforded that safety that government and politicians have," said Larry Pigott, grandfather of 11 kids in the school district. "I feel that is a necessity due to the times that we are living in."
Another parent noted, "I just think of the difference it could have made at Sandy Hook or in Texas."
The school board overwhelmingly agreed and voted to implement the concealed carry policy.
Cherokee Schools Superintendent Kim Lingenfelter noted that the district began discussing the measure in July. In those initial talks, she stated that the district consulted with law enforcement officials, the chief of police, and the school's resource officer.
"No one wants guns in school, but we want bad guys with a gun even less," Lingenfelter said. "And the board has taken a very measured and serious approach to the challenge of keeping students safe and staff."
"By allowing approved and well-trained staff members to carry firearms, we can give them the opportunity to protect our students if an active shooter situation occurs," board president Jodi Thomas told KMEG. "We are grateful for our school resource officers and our partnership with the City of Cherokee and believe this policy will bolster our combined efforts to keep our students and staff safe."
The district will initiate the measure by gathering a list of teachers and staff interested in participating in the program. Staff will be trained monthly on how to safely carry a firearm on campus and protect students in an active shooter scenario.
The updated district policy now reads: "Weapons under the control of law enforcement officials and staff approved by an administrative team are exempt" from any ban on weapons on campus.
Cherokee Schools is now the second district in the state to permit staff to carry concealed. In August, Spirit Lake School Board voted to allow 10 staff members to carry firearms on campus; however, those staff members cannot be teachers.
Training will be required, and the school will likely own the firearms. The district also announced additional safety features, including mental health support, a resource officer, and security cameras.
Spirit Lake School Board Superintendent Dr. David Smith hopes it will deter school shootings.
"As a school district, we have an obligation to protect our students and staff from a possible active shooter situation," said Smith. "We know that when these events occur, most of the victims fall within the first few minutes. We have determined the right action to take is to give trained staff members the opportunity to stop a killer as soon as possible."