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Gun-toting teachers still a topic of discussion locally

WALLA WALLA VALLEY –School safety is, and will continue to be a hot topic of discussion following the Florida shooting that resulted in the deaths of 17 people. One main question of concern is whether teachers will carry guns to school for safety measures.

College Place School Superintendent Tim Payne argues that it is not in a teachers job description. “We don’t hire a teacher and say, ‘boy, part of your job description is that you’re going to carry a 9mm to class every day,” says Payne. “It is a voluntary activity.” The superintendent also doesn’t believe that 20 percent of teachers in College Place would volunteer to be armed — a number the president gave when addressing the issue earlier this week.

In Walla Walla, the board prohibits the carrying of firearms unless it’s an authorized agent. Walla Walla Superintendent Wade Smith says, “I’ve received no different direction or any conversation as of recent to consider changing that policy.”

There is currently one deputy SRO for the Walla Walla school district. His name is Deputy Allen Thonnie, and he works at Wa-Hi.


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