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Columbia school board votes against allowing employees to carry guns

Columbia school board members decided Monday night to not allow some school employees to be armed.

Board members defeated a proposal 4 to 3 that would have allowed the director and assistant director of safety to conceal and carry guns.

Both employees are retired police officers and would have been required to go through training every year to be eligible to carry a gun.

Under the proposal, they would have had to have been licensed by the state and federal government at all times. They would have also had to submit proof of 24 hours of firearm training every year.

Additionally, they would have had to complete training pertaining to student mental health and cultural sensitivity.

School officials say the policy change was sparked by crime in Columbia and the focus on guns in school since the Newtown, Conn. shooting in December.

Only school resource officers, who are Columbia Police Department employees, can carry guns in the district’s schools.

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