UPDATE: KO Board to Vote on Arming School Security Guard

Keystone Oaks School Board agenda, Jan. 16, 2013.

UPDATE, Jan. 17, 8:52 p.m.: The Keystone Oaks School Board voted Thursday in favor of allowing school security officer Beth Padden to carry a firearm.

This will not take effect immediately. Padden must first complete an intensive, five-month training course. If she passes the training, she will be allowed to carry a firearm at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

The board also agreed to discuss additional options for making the schools safer. A full update will be posted on Dormont-Brookline Patch tomorrow morning.

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The Keystone Oaks School Board plans to vote this evening on whether school security guard Beth Padden should be authorized to carry a firearm.

The following item is included as an adendum in the Jan. 17 meeting agenda package, which is available on the Keystone Oaks School District website:


    The Administration recommends the approval of Ms. Beth Ann Padden, School Security Guard, to carry a firearm as defined by the Lethal Weapons Training Act.

    For Information:

    Upon approval to carry a firearm in the Schools of the Keystone Oaks School District, Ms. Padden will then seek the proper certified training to carry the firearm in accordance with the law. The cost of the training will be approximately $1,900.00 which will be assumed by the District.

In addition to a security guard, the Keystone Oaks School District also has a school police officer, Aaron Vanatta, who oversees all five district schools, and is armed.

The school board meeting is today, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. The agenda is attached to this article as a PDF document, and also includes votes on policies regarding transportation and internet/email use by district employees. The policies are included in the agenda package.

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T&B T January 17, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Definitely a good idea! If it's good a idea for Obama's daughters then it is good idea for our kids. Guns in the hands of good people are not a problem.
Nazy H January 17, 2013 at 08:57 PM
What!?! Who decides who the "good people" are? Mentally ill people having delusions often think they are fighting "bad" people but in reality it is random strangers. So are they good people or not? Have you not seen the NRA meme going around, showing the day Regan was shot with 6 armed "good guys" who didn't shoot Hinkley at all and 3 people, 2 unarmed, were seriously wounded. Tell me how this good people/ok to be armed scenario worked so well in this situation.
David Edick January 17, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Your pretty quick to say who the "bad people" are, so now your all defensive about someone elses opinion on the good guys?
Nazy H January 17, 2013 at 09:11 PM
You got it, David, it is an OPINION. Not a fact. Not something that everyone can agree on. I am glad you got my point EXACTLY.
DormontMOM January 17, 2013 at 09:12 PM
I think making the campus secure should be the agenda. All staff and students sholud wear ID badgets, like college campus. Doors should be locked and policies enforced to protect the children in our district, adding a gun into the mix isn't the solution.
David Edick January 17, 2013 at 09:13 PM
I don't really feel that your sarcasm is necessary to the discussion.
Erin Faulk January 17, 2013 at 09:15 PM
A lot of school districts are having this discussion right now. Besides assigning a gun to a security officer, what are some other things you'd like to see in schools to make them safer? Or are they safe enough as is?
erika January 17, 2013 at 09:18 PM
President Obama's daughters are clearly at higher risk of being targeted than anyone's child in Pittsburgh is. This is simply a bad argument, regardless of which side you are on.
Nazy H January 17, 2013 at 09:21 PM
No sarcasm here! Just a valid point.
Gary January 17, 2013 at 09:52 PM
I'm with you John. I think that qualified staff should have the ability to carry a firearm as long as it's concealed and never leaves their person. I also like the idea of offering them the close quarters training. As far as armed guards go- I think it could give the students a greater sense of security, but in the long run would I think it would be percieved as a threat. I mean some of these schools are mor like prisons anymore.
Robert January 18, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Erica you can explain it to him ....;but you can't understand it for him. He is a perfect target for all the pitches and cliches that the nra puts out each day. They say some crap and a miliion pall parrots start repeating it.
Jason D Flaherty January 18, 2013 at 12:34 AM
I have kids and would be pleases to know that my kids are just a little safer ,because we have armed staff! I hey you little people who are complaining about the right to arm our staff should goto one of these other schools and tell the parents of the children how you feel instead of hiding on here and posting your opinion! Atleast come tell me to my face or one of my friends or brothers how you feel about protecting our children. I think some of you are people who couldn't get into or make it in public office that's why you don't share who you are. Bunch of babies who would rather spend $2,000 on something else that we know don't work. How many of these shooters DIDnt shoot them selves once it was their turn. Hey, why not get rid of the gym teachers because our students dont seem to be benefiting from them either. Lol... The kids are armed so let's not arm the adults!
erika January 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM
huh? What are you trying to say? This makes zero sense as it is, but as soon as i got the part that said "Bunch of babies" i figured I should be glad that this rant is difficult for me to comprehend. Why would i "go to one of these other schools and tell the parents (sic) of the children instead of hiding here and posting your opinion". Well Jason, probably because that is precisely what these boards are for?? And also I am not in the habit of throwing around my unsolicited opinions at a school in which I have no vested interest. That is just obnoxious.
erika January 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Well naturally the NRA decides who the good people are, Nazy. Don't you know that???
Erin Faulk January 18, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Hi guys, Update—the Keystone Oaks School Board did vote in favor of allowing school security officer Beth Padden to carry a firearm. They also agreed to discuss additional options for making the schools safer. This will not take effect immediately. Padden must first complete an intensive, five-month training and testing course. If she passes the training, she will be allowed to carry a firearm at the beginning of next school year (the 2013-14 school year). I'll have a full update posted on Patch tomorrow morning.
erika January 18, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Thanks for the update! Great to hear that she will receive the comprehensive training that is due her with this development.
Robert January 18, 2013 at 02:35 AM
yeah jason.....once word gets around that beth ann is armed all the problems will be solved....if everyone can stop laughing that is.
Robert January 18, 2013 at 02:38 AM
who didn't know that........we all feel soooooo much safer now.........saturday night live got nuttin that board
John Neuhaus January 18, 2013 at 03:40 AM
Nazy, I like your comment about covering the other three buildings in the School District. How do we know that a gunman would only attack the High School / Middle School Complex? John Neuhaus - Castle Shannon
Daniel Rush January 18, 2013 at 05:28 AM
There were armed guards at Columbine & Virginia Tech. A lot of good that did. Giving people like George Zimmerman a gun exacerbates the problem. Schools that have armed guards/police are 500 more times likely to have children that are put into juvenile detention center where the cycle of criminality is learned and continued. This will be the outcome of these drastic measures. We could just take a page from the NRA playbook and arm the elementary school children. I feel safer already! Sorry for the sarcasm.
Robert January 18, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Well said Daniel. Probably nothing that made good sense like that was brought up at the board meeting.....which is about the norm.
Joseph January 18, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Cherry-picking information to support your idea is flawed reasoning. First, the deputy at Columbine engaged the assailants, stopping their attack and allowing teachers/students to flee. Second, schools that have armed guards/police do so because the school is already in a high-risk area. Third, you're citing the stat (assuming it is accurate) with false causation between armed guards and their effect on children. Fourth, Zimmerman wasn't a security guard. Lastly, I could easily cite situations where an armed guard prevented or minimized damage at a public place*, but that doesn't mean it's the end all solution. It is unreasonable to expect that an armed guard would prevent any deaths from occurring. The same way it's unreasonable to expect the police to prevent any deaths from occurring in a given community. The only way to ensure that is to implement Draconian security measures. To me, it's a matter of being capable of enforcing the law-- keeping guns out of gun free zones. The correlation between mass shooting and gun free zones should be evident by now... * Pearl High School in Mississippi; Sullivan Central High School in Tennessee; Appalachian School of Law in Virginia; a middle school dance in Edinboro, Pa.; Players Bar and Grill in Nevada; a Shoney's restaurant in Alabama; Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City; New Life Church in Colorado; Clackamas Mall in Oregon (three days before Sandy Hook); Mayan Palace Theater in San Antonio (three days after Sandy Hook)
Angelica Blouch January 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Congrats for a school district wanting to take action. How could you watch the story of children and teachers die at Sandy Hook and then not do anything about it? If one person in that school would've had a gun, they would've at least had the ability to stop the shooter. At Keystone Oaks, that possibility will now be fulfilled. Good for them!
Robert January 20, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Well angelina you watch the story about the kids and then you take those assult rifles out of thier hands.....nobody needs them. Splain to me what good that woman with a handgun is going to do against someone with an assalt rifle and clips firing 100 rounds in a matter of seconds. Right after she pees her pants he will probably shoot her dead too. Do you put a little old lady with a gun in every school and business and public park and movie house and trolly in the nation? Obama is trying to do the only thing that will work.......take those AK 47s and multi bullet clips off the market........so the gun sellers will each make a few million less a year. Maybe we can make it up to them out of our paychecks? Right ang?
Janice Meyer January 24, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Well, Rober... The fact is that criminals don't generally buy thier guns at a store where they have to go through a background check and register their weapons. And there are enough high capacity clips around out there that stopping the sale of them to legal, responsible people will not keep criminals or people with mental illnesses from getting hold of them. Sadly, it is true that many people who legally buy firearms and register them are not making sure that their children or criminals who break into their homes cannot get hold of their firearms (& other weapons). When I am at home, my firearms are loaded and ready. When I have friends over, especially those with children, & when I am not at home, my firearms are unloaded, secured with gun locks, hidden in locked cases in hard to find places, & my ammo is hidden in seperate locations. It's a bit of extra effort & time, but I do it to make it extremely difficult for a burglar or visitor to be able to find my weapons & take them. The issue of gun control is a controversial one and always will be. And the issue of having armed gaurds or police at schools is also a controversial issue, & always will be. But the fact remains- stopping the legal sale of any type of weapon that requires a backgroud check & registration of the weapon, will NOT stop illegal gun use and possesion. But having armed gaurds or police at schools MAY stop another person from shooting & killing children, teachers, & other innocent people at a school.
Robert January 24, 2013 at 04:08 AM
All my friends tell me they are so reieved when people unload thier guns and hide thier ammo when whenever thier kids visit them. We also all agree that because there are already dangerous assault weapons out there.....we might as well sell a lot more. What could go wrong???? Same thing that went wrong with the lobotomy??????
Erin Faulk January 24, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Hi guys, As a reminder, please show respect for each other on these boards by spelling each others' names correctly and avoiding personal attacks and insults. One comment has been deleted for these reasons. Please refer to the Terms of Use: http://dormont-brookline.patch.com/terms Thanks.
Robert January 24, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Erin.....I believe ammo jan was insinuating that I had a lobotomy......from what I've heard that isn't in accordance with the rules here. Did you scold her Erin? I'm just sayin. Thank you darlin.....and have a great day:)
Robert January 24, 2013 at 02:28 PM
In addition Erin......did you see the way she mispelled my name? Do you think that was her intention?
Erin Faulk January 24, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Robert, cool it. Everyone is equal on these boards. The warning has been given. Everyone is asked to follow the terms of use.


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