Lakeland School District Plans To Hire Armed Guard At Athol Elem - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Lakeland School District Plans To Hire Armed Guard At Athol Elementary

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NORTH IDAHO -

A north Idaho school district is not sitting back to wait for a school shooting.

The Lakeland School District says they don’t want their students to be “soft targets.”

The district plans to hire one guard for the next school year, but the plan is to hire more guards in the future and have one at each school.

Athol Elementary will be the first school in the Lakeland District to have the guard, the district says.

Why there you may ask?

“The last time there was a 911 call, it was a 22-minute response time which is just way too long,” Lisa Sexton said.

Assistant Superintendent Lisa Sexton says the Kootenai County Commissioners denied their request for an extra school resource officer to patrol the hallways.

So now the district will take it upon themselves to add the extra safety.

The armed guard would be someone with a military background or a former police officer that left their position in good standing and would be required to train with local police on a coordinated response.

“They’ll have to undergo a psych evaluation,” Sexton said, “and there will be a lot of other testing and things so that we know that we are putting the right person in the building."

Sexton says a bulk of the conversation came after the Parkland shooting when parents wanted something done to protect their kids.

“We’re tired of having to worry about whether or not our kids whether our kids are going to come home safe,” Sexton said, “and so we're at a place now where they are willing to think about things that they've never been willing to think about before."

Sexton says the district is also working on upgrading phone systems to notify parents of something going on and also working to add safety film to windows at schools.

The district hopes to hire and train the armed guard in time for next school year.

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