NORTH SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — No one spoke in opposition to a new policy adopted Tuesday evening at as special meeting of Beaver County’s Riverside School District School Board.
The vote was unanimous, 7-0, in favor of the proposal.
That means beginning in the very near future, when the school security guard walks the halls on the campus in North Sewickley Township, he will be armed.
The guard is a retired state trooper.
“He’s been employed by the district for about eight years. He’s well respected and has good relations with students and staff, that’s why we felt comfortable with making this decision,” Superintendent Shawn Plassmeyer said.
The Beaver County Courts must certify the armed officer before the vote becomes official.
Right now, the retired trooper is the only person certified to carry a gun on the Riverside campus, but that could change.
Riverside isn’t the first area school district to arm school security employees.
Just over a year ago, Gateway School District security guards were given permission to carry loaded guns and issue citations after the plan was a approved first by a judge, and then by school officials.
And, back in 2012, one of the first area school districts to allow security officers to carry loaded weapons was in the City of Butler.
In each case, the guards were retired law enforcement officers.
Plassmeyer told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti that the decision to arm the school guard was not an easy one to make.
“This is not something I envisioned when I ran for the school board seven years ago. I never envisioned this. My kid go here, I graduated from here. This is a different society today. I don’t wish this on any school district, but that’s where we’re at,” he said.