Amid a national debate over school safety, the Washoe County School District’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday that opposes arming teachers. The resolution, which instead calls on Congress and the Legislature to increase funding for more police officers and counselors, said there is “no evidence that arming educators or educational support professionals increases school safety.”
The board’s president, Katy Simon Holland, said she hoped the resolution would make the district’s position clear as a task force convened by Gov. Brian Sandoval continues to review school safety issues. The school district’s police chief, Jason Trevino, said in a statement that he supported the move.
“As a district, we are committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment in our schools, and arming our educators directly contradicts that mission,” he said. “Our officers are fully trained and certified in the use of firearms, and we feel strongly that educators should not keep weapons accessible in their classrooms or on their person.”
Opponents of the resolution argued it was premature. Jeff Church, a candidate for school board, said he supports arming teachers in some cases and that the action takes options off the table.
“The board is jumping the gun by acting unilaterally without waiting for the results of the governor’s task force on school safety,” he said during public comment.
Natha Anderson, the president of the Washoe Education Association, a group that represents educational professionals in the district, applauded the board’s decision.
“We have been hired to teach,” she said. “We have not been hired to bring in a weapon.”