WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Teachers and staff from around Colorado are getting handgun training for the first time in Weld County.
The staff members will carry handguns on various campuses in case of an active shooter situation. This week, the teachers participated in a three-day training session to learn how to use the guns.
The hope is the training will prevent a school shooting tragedy such as Columbine or Sandy Hook.
Ronnie Wilson of Falcon was one of the first to fire shots at the camp.
Wilson plans to start a new charter school in District 49 in the fall with 700 students. He said he’s eager to learn all he can about keeping them safe.
“The kind of training that I have personally received is something beyond what I could have received through the sheriff’s office, just for my conceal-carry permit,” Wilson said.
“So crisis management is of utmost importance. Also, to kind of prepare yourself not for if the worst happens, but when it could happen.”
Seventeen school staff members and administrators are getting the training from Ohio-based Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.
Each of the trainees are already licensed to carry weapons, and were designated by a school district or board to be a security volunteer.
Coloradans for Civil Liberties arranged for the training, founder Laura Carno said. CLC and the Independence Institute raised the $1,000 for each trainee to participate.
“So these aren’t people who who would stop their current job and then move into a security officer job. It just becomes an additional volunteer duty. The rule of thumb is one person per building per floor,” Carno said.
“There’s a confidentiality aspect to all of this, as well. Each participating school district can decide how public — or private — it wants to be when it comes to having staff members at this training exercise, and who will be armed at school.
“It’s also for the staff members’ protection because no one wants a potential armed shooter to know in advance, which staff member will be armed at any given time.”
Most participating school districts are not publicizing their involvement in the training.
The trainees will get medical training from a doctor with the FASTER organization, in case someone they’re trying to protect gets hurt.
The FASTER trainers will also train a team of Colorado law enforcement officers who will provide training for future employees.
Carno said there are 20 people on a waiting list for the next training session.