School District Threatening to Shut Down Charter School that Allows Armed Teachers

Some administrators are open to allowing armed teachers. Others — not so much. (Photo: Screenshot/Fox31)

As schools across the country grapple with how to prepare for the next active shooter, one school district in Colorado has taken armed teachers off the table.

Local media reports that the Douglas County School District has asked one of its character schools to leave the district because it allows teachers to be trained and armed on school grounds. If the school and the district can’t come to an exit agreement, the district has threatened to close the school.

“We will fight tooth and nail if any school, whether it is a neighborhood school or a charter school, that decides to arm its teachers,” said school board superintendent Dr. Thomas Tucker at a hearing. “If it’s a charter school, we are going to ask that they leave the Douglas County School District.”

The school, Ascent Classical Academy, is the only school in the district to implement a program that allows teachers to be armed. They required teachers to possess a concealed carry license, volunteer to participate, pass an assessment, and complete a course from the Ohio-based FASTER Saves Lives training program.  

“It’s a lot of training that our staff go through,” Derec Shuler, Ascent’s executive director, told local media.

SEE ALSO: Illinois Passes Law Allowing Schools to Teach Hunter’s Education

We spoke with FASTER Saves Lives director Joe Eaton last year, and he explained that the 26-hour course requires a higher standard of firearm proficiency than some police departments. FASTER students also receive training on how to move safely from an area of danger, how to move people to an area of safety, and how to deal with large chaotic crowds. They receive a large block of trauma casualty care as well.

Shuler says parents overwhelmingly support the program.

“It makes me feel confident, dropping off my kids at school and being able to walk away and know that somebody is there that’s trained, well trained,” mother Rachel Graham told local media.

As with many small schools, Ascent couldn’t afford to hire a full-time resource officer.

“It’s really a question of cost. These are just really not options that are affordable to us as a smaller school,” Shuler said.

Shuler’s school isn’t the only Colorado charter school taking advantage of FASTER training.

Sheena Mc Ouat wants to open a charter school just north of Denver, and she participated in a recent FASTER course in Adams County, Colorado.

SEE ALSO: Cuomo’s Legislative Answer to School Shootings: Standardized Gun Buybacks, Ban Teachers from Carrying

“Not being prepared is not an option,” she told Fox 31. “I’ve been in education for 19 years and when I sat down to develop this school, I had to think about our safety plan, and the fact that there could be a shooter, there was no other option than to be prepared in multiple ways including to stop the threat.”

While charter and private schools often have the flexibility and independence to develop armed teacher programs, many public school districts have been more hesitant. One of Eaton’s greatest frustrations are school administrators who refuse to treat violence like any other health emergency.

“The thing that aggravates me talking to schools is that it seems that violence is the only emergency that they’re comfortable saying they’ll wait on outside help,” he told GunsAmerica.

“I tell them, if you’ve got a kid that falls in a swimming pool and drowns, you don’t simply call 911 and wait for the ambulance to show up. You jump in the pool, you pull the kid out, you start CPR, and then when the professionals get there you have a patient to transfer to them instead of a victim. Violence has to be the same exact way.”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Mike March 19, 2020, 1:01 pm

    Lived on CO for 35 yrs. Was best kept secret in the country. Then migration from CA turned the cowboy state into Colofornia with their politics. Live in country in WA. Miss my home but can never return. Good luck charter school. You are doing the right thing. Stay the course.

  • RICK September 6, 2019, 11:47 am

    In other words, they want dead kids.

  • Andrew N. August 31, 2019, 12:26 am

    The real problem here is if an attempted mass shooting happens at a school with armed teachers, and gets ended before it really gets rolling by one of those armed teachers, the Libtards will have to admit that arming teachers works, and parents will demand it, killing gun control initiatives immediately. What a nightmare!

  • Dilligaf August 30, 2019, 3:29 pm

    I say hire Veterans (especially ones transitioning back into civilian life) to patrol and protect our schools. This is a way to help Veterans and keep them from becoming homeless or worse committing suicide. In their eyes, it will give them purpose and they will be protecting children from evil

  • Son_of_Liberty August 30, 2019, 10:29 am

    Sounds like a school district is admitting that they want nothing to do with your child’s health and safety.

    The district board should be fired.

    • KBSacto August 30, 2019, 1:37 pm

      I live in CA and feel for the charter school. Teachers should be allowed to conceal carry if trained.

      I’m not sure the CO school district can force the charter school; note that they would “ask” the school to leave. Here is CA, a district school that becomes a charter moves itself out from under the authority of the district though it gets its funds from the state through the District. I can see why the CO district is trying to coerce them. The charter school lawyers will know this, and I hope they succeed.

  • joefoam August 30, 2019, 9:34 am

    Simply make the officials personally responsible for their policies that put our kids at risk. Next time there is a shooting in a gun free zone have the official named as a contributor to the carnage, make them pay their own legal fees and dump them in jail.

  • Kane August 30, 2019, 8:51 am

    Can the common citizen be trusted anymore?

  • Mr. Sparkles August 30, 2019, 8:08 am

    When seconds count, the cops are minutes (or hours in more rural areas) away.

    This school board is making decisions based on political grounds rather then logic or common sense. Yes, school board members, common sense is In fact better then lock step adherence to political platforms and what is truly expected of your position.

  • perlcat August 30, 2019, 7:08 am

    Sounds like the liberal’s wet dream. Not only do they get to grandstand against guns, they get to close down a school that is actually educating their students.

  • Jim August 30, 2019, 5:51 am

    Gee, it seems if we cannot trust an armed teacher to be with and protect our children, then we cannot trust those teachers to be our children at all.

  • les gus August 30, 2019, 5:40 am

    It’s not about the guns, guns are an excuse to try and shut down charter schools. It’s about adding more people to the teachers union.

  • John Bibb August 30, 2019, 4:49 am

    ***
    Not only is this the best answer to stopping mass shootings–it’s the only rational and economically viable answer.
    ***
    In the El Paso Walmart shooting rampage running out of ammo was the only thing that stopped the carnage. Walmarts have the 30-06 and 30-07 warnings posted to disarm and punish law abiding CC and Open Carry Citizens. Good thing that this was a gun “free” zone!–aka a DEFENSELESS VICTIM ZONE.
    ***
    Walmarts here now have a uniformed armed cop or deputy inside the main entry door now. A smart shooter will probably case the joint–and if necessary–shoot this easily identified guard first. Then–on with the murders of the unarmed victims.
    ***
    Having a number of concealed carry armed trained first responders also is a far better idea. Maybe the cop or guard could be the “squad” leader–if he’s still alive, that is!–if the SHTF event ever goes down. He/she can also spot possible mental changes in the rest of the team in case one of them is going wacko.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

    • Robert D Floyd August 30, 2019, 8:50 am

      I live in Texas and I have never walked into a Walmart store that had a 30.06 sign on the door. They have a sign saying it is illegal to enter carrying a firearm, if you do not have a license to do so. I was in Walmart last night and stopped just to read the sign.

    • john August 30, 2019, 9:08 am

      I’ve said it all along , if a business chooses to post 30:06, and 30:07 on their door , they are now responsible to provide protection for citizens who are no longer allowed to protect themselves with firearms due to their legal posting . furthermore they should also be held liable if and when an event occurs and a person or persons loose their lives or get injured due to the lack of protection they failed to provide ! PERIOD!

  • bob onit August 29, 2019, 6:36 pm

    Recall ,recall,recall,dump the petty school -board punks

  • Neal Christensen August 29, 2019, 11:39 am

    Victims…we must have victims!

    • ExNuke August 30, 2019, 2:56 pm

      Those won’t be “victims” they will be “Martyrs” for the Jihad against Civil Rights and “Progressives” will dance in their blood while demanding more Control.

  • JonsOn August 29, 2019, 11:39 am

    It sounds like the school board cares more about being anti-gun than being safe for students. I would choose safety over a misguided political view. I believe that armed teachers are the best way to combat potential mass shooters in this day and age. Of course if we rebuild the family unit and get these kids off the Ritalin type drugs maybe we won’t have crazed kids wanting to commit mass murder.

  • Kevin McCarthy August 29, 2019, 11:02 am

    Excuse me. Isn’t this a civil rights violation on the part of the school district?

  • Bruce 'Pilgrim' Stanton August 29, 2019, 9:49 am

    In the end, it is up to the parents to decide, not some administrator with a fancy degree in front of his name.

  • Zupglick August 29, 2019, 9:08 am

    Sounds like they need a new superintendent. Or a new school board.

  • Ricky B. August 28, 2019, 2:39 pm

    There’s no reasonable explanation for the Douglas County School District’s position, which isn’t just anti-gun but is also extremely irresponsible. The comprehensive training program the school has in place specifically addresses any legitimate safety concerns some people may have with arming teachers.

    With as many school shootings we’ve seen in recent years no school district should be allowed to limit the options schools have available to protect their students!

  • Dr Motown August 28, 2019, 8:13 am

    Maybe they can find a smarter superintendent from another district to charter them

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