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Board OKs gun policy change

By Bryan Richardson

The USD 383 school board accepted a first reading of a policy revision Wednesday that allows employees with concealed carry permits to keep a firearm in their vehicle.

Superintendent Bob Shannon called it a “substantial revision.”

“The law does not allow the board to deny an employee who has a concealed carry permit from bringing a firearm in their vehicle, and keeping it in their vehicle as long as the vehicle is locked, secured and the firearm is not in plain sight,” he said.

The policy revision reflects that language and only applies to employees and not visitors, Shannon said.

Previously, only law enforcement officers could have a weapon on school grounds even if somebody had a concealed carry license.

The policy adjustment is related to the changes in the concealed carry law passed last year that allows for weapons to be carried in state and municipal buildings that don’t have adequate security measures.

School buildings aren’t required to allow concealed carry under the law.

Shannon said the Kansas Association of School Boards suggested a change to the policy formerly known as “Crowd Control at School Sponsored Activities” to clear up any confusion about the new law.

“The association suggests, and I agree, to re-title it as ‘Disruptive Acts at School or School Activities,’” Shannon said.

ALSO DURING Wednesday night’s meeting, board president Curt Herrman made a proclamation for the district’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week, which will be celebrated Jan. 19-25.

The board also recognized Carolyn Scott, a third-grade teacher at Northview Elementary, as the USD 383 Master Teacher.

Emporia State University established the Kansas Master Teacher awards in 1953.

To be eligible for nomination, each candidate must have served at least five years in schools in Kansas as a teacher or instructional leader, displayed teaching or administrative effectiveness, and demonstrated the attitude and abilities specified in the National Education Association’s Code of Ethics of the Educational Professional.

Each school nominated a teacher to be its Master Teacher candidate, and a district committee made the selection.

Scott will now represent the district in the statewide Master Teacher contest.

State winners will be announced in the spring.

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