In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings, the Morgan School District is updating its emergency preparedness plan and evaluating the safety of its schools.
“We take emergency preparedness seriously,” said Superintendent Ken Adams. “Schools should be the safest place on earth. Our philosophy is to get out. If you can’t get out, lock them out. If you can’t lock them out, hide. If you can’t hide, confront.”
Boardmember Neil Carrigan, a former Morgan educator, said high school classrooms don’t offer a lot of places to hide. Windows in the hall way give shooters a clear view of potential victims, he said.
“They need a better place to hide,” Carrigan said.
Business Administrator D’Lynn Poll said increased views into classrooms was originally done to protect students from compromising situations such as sexual abuse.
Adams said the district has considered curtains and one-way windows.
Boardmember Ken Durrant asked if buildings could be locked down so only the front entrance was open to visitors. While elementary schools can do this, high schools cannot because students need access to other areas of campus.
Adams said he has heard the state legislature may present legislation dealing with school safety in the upcoming session. He said that could include discussion on gun safety, concealed weapons, and the presence of law enforcement..
Adams offered his own opinion on guns in schools.
“State law is if someone has a concealed weapon permit, they can have it in the classroom. We don’t promote that position. We don’t encourage it,” he said. “But we obey state law.”
Boardmember Jody Hipwell said the current state law allows guns to be carried “on your person” if you have a concealed weapons permit. However, for women that means they can carry their weapon in their purse.
“For a woman, a purse is considered her person, even if it is under the desk in an uncontrolled area,” she said. “That is not on my person down there on the floor.”
Hipwell said she was surprised about discussions that took place on the facebook group “Morgan Moms” where women supported teachers carrying concealed weapons and informed other women where to go for such training.