Riverton School Board held first concealed carry policy public forum Wednesday

(Riverton, WY) – Fremont County School District #25 Board of Trustees had their first of three public forums today, November 2 to discuss a potential employee concealed carry policy.

A policy has not been drafted at this point in time. “We are just getting started before we put a lot of work into a policy,” shared Board Chair Lynette Jeffres.

Currently, the district has three full-time school resource officers, a single point of entry into buildings, and they are looking into pushout windows for all of the exterior classroom windows.

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“This is not meant to replace anything,” Trustee Bruce Berg said of their safety measures already in place.

During the nearly hour-long discussion, seven community members, and former and current staff members spoke.

The majority of them were on board with pursuing a policy.

Vicky Williams, who has grandchildren in the district, noted she personally believes that the teachers would want to protect the students. “To me, it would be well worth investigating.”

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Others speaking in favor of a concealed carry policy were Cindy McDonald, Terry Cantrell, and Dallas Myers, all employees of the district.

One parent expressed being on the fence. “I do think it’s a big thing to do, especially with kids,” shared Kirbie Despain, mother of three.

One parent who spoke today was not for it. “I honestly would feel less safe knowing that there’s potentially random teachers carrying in the school,” explained parent Gwenith Wachter.

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Her main concern is who is carrying the gun and them being around children. She also noted she’s not anti-gun, but just has concerns.

Abbigail Vaughn, parent and school employee, brought up questions like when would a weapon be used, what training would be required, and will the police know which teacher has a gun, among others.

All questions that could be addressed in a board drafted policy.

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The conversation continues with the next public forum scheduled to begin at 6:15 on November 8. The meeting will be held in the district boardroom, located at 121 North 5th Street.

If Riverton were to implement a voluntary employee concealed carry policy, it would join four other districts in Wyoming with similar policies: Lander, Ten Sleep, Cody and Evanston.

You can follow all of County 10’s coverage of this topic here.

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