SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The Spirit Lake Community School Board has approved arming selected staff to carry a firearm on school grounds to protect the staff and students.  

According to the special agenda notes from the Spirit Lake Community School Board of Directors’ special meeting, the board of directors unanimously approved arming staff with the school district.  

The special meeting was held on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and all board members, Superintendent David Smith, two co-board secretaries, the Administration Department, 13 staff members, and six visitors attended.  

The notes indicated that the resolution allows the Superintendent to select 10 or fewer individuals to be armed with a gun on school grounds with the intent of protecting staff and students.  

The notes cited the law Iowa Code 724.4B (2) (a), which states that a person who has been specifically authorized by the school to be armed on school grounds is not subject to criminal charges.  

A second item updated the board policy that lets the superintendent select the staff members. The last item voted on during the meeting included the motion to update the plan for other emergency drills.

An email from Spirit Lake schools to parents specified that the trained staff will be non-teachers. It also states that the policy is being fully supported by Dickinson County Sheriff Gregory Baloun and Spirit Lake Chief of Police Shane Brevik.

“As a school district, we have an obligation to protect our students and staff from a possible active shooter situation,” said Dr. Smith in a statement included with the email. “We know that when these events occur, most of the victims fall within the first few minutes. We have determined the right action to take is to give train staff members the opportunity to stop a killer as soon as possible. In addition, having this policy in place serves as a deterrent for anyone who might consider entering our schools with the intent to do harm.’

According to the email, the safety policy will supplement the other safety features the district has in place such as locked doors, security cameras, mental health supports, and a district resource officer. The district also said that it will continue to utilize its safety plan, provide staff and students with age-appropriate training, and review other safety measures that add additional layers of security to its facilities.

This is a developing story and will be updated as we learn more information.

Gage Teunissen contributed to this story.