Shawnee Mission takes strongest stand possible against firearms on school property

The Shawnee Mission School District has adopted the strongest policy available to keep firearms off school property.

SMSD-logoThe school board this week passed a revised possession of firearms policy in response to gun legislation that made it through the Kansas Legislature this session. Cities that want to prohibit guns on municipal property were dealt a difficult hand by the bill because it ultimately requires them to secure entrances with manned security equipment. That will be a costly proposition for most municipal buildings.

Schools, however, were given an exemption from the bill’s requirement for secure entrances and allowed to ban guns from school property with one exception. They also could choose to allow employees with concealed-carry permits to carry their weapons in school.

Shawnee Mission chose to adopt a policy that prohibits possession of firearms on any school property, in any school vehicle, a school-operated building or a personal vehicle being used to transport students.

The prohibition applies as well to concealed weapons even if the person has “a valid concealed carry license” in Kansas. Law enforcement are the only people allowed to carry firearms.

However, the policy does not “apply to the secured storage of a handgun in a district employee’s own locked vehicle on school property so long as such employee holds a valid Kansas concealed carry license and such weapon is maintained out of plain site.”

When the policy was introduced for first reading two weeks ago, board member Joan Leavens questioned the exception for stored guns, saying she was “opposed to any weapons on school property.” Staff at the Kansas School Boards Association, which has drafted sample policies for boards, said the Shawnee Mission policy is the most prohibitive that can be passed under the law. Employees are allowed to keep the guns in a locked car if they have a permit.