Lone Tree school to leave Douglas County district amid plan to arm staff

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A Lone Tree charter school will be leaving the Douglas County School District after moving forward with a plan to arm staff.

On Tuesday night, the Douglas County School District board voted to allow Ascent Classical Academy to apply for Colorado Charter School Institute status, which would let the school leave the district and be funded directly by the state.

For more than a year, some staff at Ascent have been training to carry and use, if necessary, firearms inside the school.

Derec Shuler, the executive director of Ascent, said parents and board members at the school believe having armed staff will allow for a quicker response to a threat at the school.

However, last month, Douglas County School District Superintendent Thomas Tucker made clear he would not allow teachers to be armed. Currently, the district only allows security personnel to be armed.

“Teachers are not armed. We will fight tooth and nail with any school — whether it’s a neighborhood school or a charter school — if they decide to arm its teachers,” Tucker said at the time.

Earlier this year, one student was killed and several were injured at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school that is part of the Douglas County School District.

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