Parents Question Shawnee Mission School District’s Purchase of Semi-automatic Rifles

photo courtesy of Colion Noir, Youtube

Shawnee Mission schools’ Director of Safety and Security John Douglass, formerly the Overland Park Police Chief, has sparked many changes for the district since 2014, one of which has turned controversial.

   In addition to improving door security and video surveillance, the district purchased eight Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic assault rifles costing a total of $5,671.04, according to The Shawnee Mission Post. Douglass believes that by arming the district resource officers with these weapons, they are better equipped to stop a shooter than with the pistols they normally carry.

   Currently by law, only trained law enforcement and security officers can carry concealed handguns in schools. However, Everytown research has tracked 113 shootings on elementary, middle and high school campuses since 2013. The FBI also reported a rise in the number of mass shootings overall, mostly at schools.

   The purchase of the rifles happened in September 2015, however, many parents are learning of it for the first time just recently, which is where the conflict began. While some parents don’t think having the weapons makes their children safer and were angered that they weren't informed of it earlier, others see it as an effective and necessary safety measure.

   “This weapon is a very serious weapon for some very limited circumstances,” Douglass said in an article by The Kansas City Star. “You are never going to see it unless something really, really bad is happening.”

Photo courtesy of guns america