Guns in schools: Superintendent says armed employees would offer best protection
"We are a very rural district," says Bollinger. "We are thirty minutes away from law enforcement.... I feel powerless."
His district has a total of around eighty students, pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Protecting the property is very personal for him, since his wife is a librarian and his eight children attend the school, where he has bee a superintendent for three years.
Bollinger doesn't currently have a permit to carry, but he would take the necessary steps and purchase a gun if he were given the opportunity to bring one to his school.
"The problem has been...I'm forbidden by law to carry a weapon," he notes. "If that were to be accessible, I would pursue [a permit]."
Before he could do so, the school board in his area would have to vote in favor of allowing concealed handguns, and he says he doesn't know yet if it would do so. If he had the opportunity through a new law, though, he says he would strongly urge a yes vote.
Bollinger says he's been generally disappointed by the political reactions he has heard in the wake of the Connecticut tragedy.
"Nationally, it seems like the answer is to restrict guns and restrict gun ownership," he says. "But that restricts your ability to protect yourself.... The conversation revolves around guns...[but] it should revolve around, 'How do we protect our children?'"
He adds, "I think the conversation needs to be on crime control.... They're trying to address the access to the weapons...but we fail to look at the criminals."
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