Columbia school board votes down gun issue

Columbia School Board members vote against allowing school safety director and assistant to carry concealed firearms on campuses.

Members of the Columbia school board voted down a hot button issue at Monday's first regular meeting for the month of June.

The issue would have allowed the director of school safety and his assistant to carry a concealed firearm on school premises.

Back in January, following the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, CPS Superintendent Chris Belcher was adamant about having a gun-free zone on campuses.

The issue was brought up again in May, and tabled until Monday night.

Board member Dr. Tom Rose voiced his concerns and his reasoning for voting against the issue.

"I've never seen guns as the answer to much of anything, including increased protection and a means of response, and therefore would not vote to add more firepower to our schools in the way presented. I would definitely support an increase in the number of SROs in the district if reasonable, not because of the gun they happen to carry, but because of the positive relationships they can develop between our students and fellow law enforcement," said Rose.

Columbia schools currently have two school resource officers who are city police and do carry guns.

They recieve regular weapons training along with other skills to deal with young people.

David Luther of Jefferson City Public Schools said the district has no plans to examine a similar issue.