WDMCS Response to National Discussion About Arming Teachers
Each day, West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) families entrust us with the privilege of helping their children become responsible lifelong learners who will contribute to a diverse and changing world.
The safety of our students has always been an integral part of that mission, but national tragedies have brought this topic to the forefront of our minds and conversations. As our society has worked to discuss and address recent instances of gun violence at schools, many people have felt heightened concern and anxiety. In particular, the recommendation to arm teachers with guns has evoked a strong response.
The West Des Moines Community Schools does not believe arming our educators is the answer, nor is it a strategy we wish to pursue, even in conjunction with other safety measures. Our educators take on many responsibilities in supporting students, many of which go far beyond instruction in the classroom. Understanding each student’s unique cultural, socio-economic, and emotional needs is critical to best supporting their success.
As a district, we continue to be diligent in our conversations and actions around school safety, including building security measures such as locked entrances, visitor check-in systems, and crisis planning. We incorporate crisis drills to practice response times. We work closely with local law enforcement officers who provide exceptional guidance in preparing for crises and how best to respond in the event of one.
We will support our educators who lead the way in preparing each student for his or her life journey without asking them to also carry firearms.
Lisa Remy, Ed.D.
West Des Moines Community Schools