Idaho Parents Seek Recall Of School Official Behind Plan To Arm Teachers

By Jessica Robinson

A proposal to arm teachers in north Idaho is stirring up a heated response. A group of parents has launched a recall campaign against the school board member behind the plan. The controversy comes as a state task force recommends against arming teachers. The school board plans to discuss the safety proposal further at a meeting Tuesday at Farmin Stidwell Elementary in Sandpoint.

Lake Pend Oreille School board chair Steve Youngdahl asked for public input on the idea of arming and training teachers and staff in case of a shooter on campus. And Youngdahl got reaction alright. Tom Bokowy and some other parents in the Sandpoint area have now gathered 75 percent of the signatures they need for a recall vote next March.

Tom Bokowy: “There's a fantasy that's out there, that if we have all of these armed teachers, we're going to deter this threat and the teachers are going to be able to return fire and it's going to be more like a 'Die Hard' movie than a classroom.”

Youngdahl, the school board chair, could not be reached for comment. He’s said in the past that arming school employees could cut down the response time in a crisis, especially in more rural schools.

An Idaho state task force drawing up school safety recommendations for the legislature in Boise says giving guns to teachers comes with more risks than benefits.

In Oregon, the Eagle Point schools are surveying parents on whether to give firearms to educators.


Idaho Safe & Secure Schools Task Force

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