Pittsburg County School Will Allow CLEET Certified Staff Members To Conceal-Carry

Wednesday, October 24th 2018, 6:08 pm
By: News On 6

The State Department of Education has announced two federal grants to enhance security at schools across Oklahoma.

The $4 million will help at least 85 school districts with Emergency Operation Plans. One green Country school district is already taking extra steps to make sure students are safe.

Administrators at Pittsburg Public Schools are notifying people that their staff is allowed to carry handguns. The superintendent says they're working to build extra layers of security.

The K through 12 school building houses 154 students and they are all under the close supervision of superintendent Chad Graham. He's been here 7 years as an educator and as a protector.

"We do the best we can to keep our staff and students safe and that's the number one priority for us," said Graham.

But relying on law enforcement to protect a rural school comes with a challenge.

"The Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office they do a great job, but they're 23 miles away," said Graham.

Which is one reason the Board of Education started a new policy to arm school employees. The Superintendent's plan starts with select school employees getting a CLEET certification to carry a gun and practicing with it. Graham says four employees so far are allowed to carry a weapon, but who the actual team members are is a mystery.

“We don't want anybody to feel nervous or scared around us and we feel like the best way to do that is to conceal the weapon," said Graham.

For a school with just 16 graduating seniors, having guns around is no big deal.

"I think it's a smart idea with all the shootings happening at schools," said Senior student Sidney Jones.

For parents, the school's new plan is reassuring.

"I love the idea I love that extra layer of protection for our kids," said parent Amanda Burchfield.

The superintendent says guns must be concealed when an employee is on campus.