Richard Payne, director of Douglas County School District security, spent $12,000 on 10 Bushmaster semi-automatic long rifles that will be given to the district's in-school security guards.
Payne took the step without school board consultation. He also plans to have each guard train for 20 hours in the rifles' use. The rifles are meant to be kept locked in the guards' cars.
Colorado has been the site of several high-profile mass shootings, including shootings in schools, most notably, the 1999 Columbine school shooting.
There is no indication of how this will affect the school's insurance underwriting. Insurers are generally reluctant to insure schools whose staff carry guns.
Opposition to such moves is widespread, however, with risks being highlighted, such as armed teachers mistakenly thinking a student is carrying a gun, police being unable to differentiate between a perpetrator and a teacher who has a weapon drawn, as well as the risks to students who find themselves in the midst of a gunfight.
"Some [insurance providers] are saying this is so high risk we're not going to touch it," Kenneth Trump, the president of National School Safety and Security Services, which discourages districts from implementing concealed-carry policies, told The New York Times. "Others may say this is so high risk that you're going to pay through the nose."
Colorado school district to arm security staff with military-style rifles (+video)
[Jason Thomas/Christian Science Monitor]
(via Naked Capitalism)