A string of recent school shootings has every school district in the country reexamining safety procedures, and considering whether armed guards would protect children. Reaction from parents has been mixed. Some teachers are even picking up guns, and going to target practice in case their asked to arm themselves. The Chico Unified School District is considering all options, but says armed guards are not likely at this time. Assistant Superintendent Bob Feaster says they don't want guns around the children, and they don't want school grounds to feel like a prison. And he says the cost would be great, and the benefits have not been proven. Says Feaster, "There were armed guards at Columbine, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech, and it did not solve the problem. It certainly does provide for quicker response, police were there rather quickly, but in many cases, the damage is done in a matter of seconds."
The district is looking at different ways teachers can protect children until police arrive, like using a belt to hold the door handle, and turning out the lights to make it appear the classroom is empty. They're also considering having only one entrance for visitors that is heavily fortified. Feaster says no matter what happens, the district's teachers are invaluable. "There's no doubt that teachers in general, and teachers at the Chico Unified School District care about the kids, and will do whater they can to keep their kids safe."