One Washington school district already has staff armed with guns

One Washington school district already has more than a dozen staff members carrying concealed guns on campus.

KIRO 7 first told you about the policy in the Toppenish School District in 2014, when it was first implemented.  Today, KIRO 7 caught up with Toppenish Superintendent John Cerna, who says the Parkland, Florida, school shooting only strengthens their case for having concealed guns on campus.

Nineteen Toppenish school administrators now carry concealed guns whenever they’re on campus.

That’s up from 11 in 2014.  No teachers carry concealed weapons.  The program is strictly voluntary, and there’s no extra pay.  It’s well-known that some administrators carry a concealed gun, but it’s unknown who specifically is carrying except for Superintendent Cerna.

In 2014, KIRO 7 Anchor John Knicely asked Cerna, “Are you confident your administrators can handle themselves in that tense situation with a gun?”

"The ones that have been trained,” Cerna answered.  “Yes, I'm very confident."

The concealed guns are all 9-mm, with a 3 1/2- to 4-inch barrel.  Those who carry undergo 40 hours of training to get certified.  Then, they must train twice a month for two hours.

Now, State Sen. Phil Fortunato wants a similar policy that includes teachers statewide.

"I am protected by armed security,” Fortunato told KIRO Radio.  “If something happens, a state patrolman sits in front of my house with a gun to protect me, yet we protect our children with a gun-free zone sign. This is nonsense."

Fortunato plans to introduce more of his plan Monday.

President Trump continued his call Friday for armed teachers.

“Well-trained, gun-adept teachers and coaches that work in that building,” Trump said.

On Friday, Cerna told KIRO 7 that he supports the idea of other districts arming staff members, but he emphasized he thinks it should be up to each individual school board.

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