Active shooter scenarios are an unfortunate, all-too-common reality of school safety training. But while most K-12 institutions hire a lone security officer or focus on bullet-proofing their doors and windows, one Christian school is going even further, pledging to arm and train members of its staff to respond with deadly force if needed.
Superintendent Dr. Lindsay Laurich of Siouxland Christian School, a private Christian school in Sioux City, Iowa, confirmed to a local news outlet that certain staff members, who wish to remain anonymous, will receive paid firearms and range training in preparation should they ever need to respond to an active shooter on campus. Dr. Laurich said the plan had been discussed by school leadership for some time before she decided to move forward with it.
“If a tragic event were to occur at SCS, I need to be able to stand in front of you and say that we have done all that we can do. This is a necessary step we must take,” Dr. Laurich stated in a letter to parents sent last week.
“The School Board and Administration have developed the process for selecting and training staff with input from law enforcement, our insurance carrier, legal advisors and industry experts. This has been a serious and diligent process over the course of the past year.”
“In the event of an active shooter event these armed SCS staff are trained to go directly to the threat. Their response will allow teachers and students to get to safe positions and will provide an active response until law enforcement is able to arrive.”
The change in policy came just days after a deadly school shooting in the central Iowa town of Perry that claimed the life of an 11-year-old boy.
“School buildings should be safe. Teachers and children should not be afraid to come to school. We must employ all of the tools and resources at our disposal in order to be prepared for worst case scenarios,” Dr. Laurich added.
The changing nature of school shootings has sometimes put Christian beliefs in the crosshairs. Last year, a transgender former student at a Nashville-based Christian school killed three students and three teachers in a shooting that law enforcement believes was motivated by the shooter’s anti-Christian beliefs.