Updated:TOPPENISH, Wash. —
In the wake of the school shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, schools in Washington State are looking for ways to keep their schools safer.
For one district, the answer is arming administrators.
In Central Washington, the Toppenish School District is arming 11 of its administrators. One of those is Superintendent John Cerna.
“Look at who's going to be the first responder in the building? Usually it's an administrator. In Sandy Hook, it was the principal who was the first responder,” said Cerna.
Cerna and the others were trained by a private security firm, after Toppenish police backed out because of liability concerns.
“As you walk down the halls of any of the 8 Toppenish schools, you won't know which administrators have a gun. And part of the idea behind that is to use it as a deterrent,” said Cerna.
And he says he is happy with all of the attention his district is getting. He wants the criminals to know, so they’ll think twice about coming into his district.
Cerna says he has received feedback from across the nation, and that none has been negative.
He believes he is taking a necessary step and that other districts will eventually follow his lead.
Read the school district's gun policy here.