CHEROKEE, Iowa (KCAU) — Cherokee Community School District’s new policy allows staff members to be trained and armed with a firearm on school property. However, there are many in the community who are against the new protocol.
At Monday’s Cherokee School Board Meeting, a group of concerned parents and a former school nurse voiced their criticism of the policy.
“My problem with the policy is not that we’re arming teachers, I don’t have an issue. I’m a firearms enthusiast myself. My problem with it is that’s the first we’re going to,” said Nate Reinert, a concerned Cherokee parent.
“Our school board has indicated that all funding for this resource would be from the governor’s initiative. However, that information is inaccurate and has been widely misleading to the public,” said Christina Reinert, another concerned Cherokee parent.
The Governor’s School Safety Initiative provides funds to upgrade schools’ security, like entry control and communication systems.
However, CCSD’s new policy doesn’t fall under the initiative’s guidelines.
“So, this is something that would be coming from taxpayer funds, in a budget that’s already extremely tight,” said Christina Reinert.
Parents and community members also feel the policy reacts to rather than prevents threats like school shootings.
“So, we’re going with the policy that’s going to effectively stop the threat once the threat is already inside. That guarantees one thing, it guarantees that one student will be killed. The student that came in with a firearm, cause 95% of school shooters are students of the school,” said Nate Reinert.
Despite bringing their concerns to the board at Monday’s board meeting, the community members said they don’t feel like they are being heard.
“I don’t think we’ve been taken seriously this whole time. The only view they want to hear is the one that agrees with them. they were not paying attention to us at all I felt,” said Megan Julius, former Cherokee School District nurse.
KCAU 9 reached out to the CCSD on several different occasions for a statement on the policy but have not received any response.