New gun policy implemented at area school - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New gun policy implemented at area school


Big changes are coming to a central Wisconsin school district as leaders try to beef up security. New rules in the Wisconsin Rapids school district change policies for weapons and safety.

For Amanda Akkerman keeping her son safe at school is a number one priority.

"You want your kids to feel at home at school," said Akkerman.

But, she says, that's changed.

"When you see someone with a gun you don't feel safe and kids don't feel protected," explained Akkerman.

The Wisconsin Rapids School Board voted this week to allow off-duty police officers to carry concealed weapons on school property, whether just at a sporting event, or in the halls.

"Anytime we can have a little added security it's a good thing," said Superintendent Colleen Dickman. "If there is an unsafe act then one of those officers could respond and actively respond."

That's not the only new safety measure. The school board also voted to allow the police department to install a weapons locker in the school liaisons office.

"It is locked. The office is locked if the PLO (Police Liaison Officer) isn't in there," said Dickman.

No one from the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department returned our calls for comment. Other parents told us they're uncomfortable with these measures.

"It could just get stolen and into the wrong hands," said Wisconsin Rapids Mother April Hansen.

But district officials defend the new rules.

"If somebody wants to do something with a weapon they're going to do it. Now we're putting in some steps that will assist police officers in responding," explained Dickman.

The changes will go into effect this school year.

School board leaders are also considering allowing teachers to keep unloaded, cased weapons in their locked cars on school grounds. That measure is set to come up for debate next month.


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