Kansas school district buys semi-automatic weapons for resource officers

A school district in Kansas purchased eight semi-automatic weapons for its school resource officers.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - A Kansas school district's move to purchase semi-automatic rifles for its resource officers is drawing criticism from parents.

The Kansas City Star reports that Shawnee Mission school district bought the guns in 2015, but it wasn't until recently that parents knew about the guns.

One of those parents, Lisa Veglahn, is confused by the move.

"I don't fully believe one person with a bigger, badder gun is really going to make a huge difference in an active shooter situation in a school," Veghlahn said. "Why did they fell it was necessary over other types of weapons?"

Melissa Pat, another concerned parent, feels the nearly $6,000 gun purchase was unwarranted at a time when the district's budget is tight. 

"It''s pretty offensive to me as a taxpayer to feel like you don't have any voice and you are being excluded from decisions that could harm your child or kill them," said Patt.

But, the district's Director of Safety and Security, John Douglass, sees it differently

"The weapon is a very serious weapon for some very limited circumstances, " said Douglass. "You are never going to see it unless something really, really bad is happening."

All seven of the district's resource officers received a rifle, along with their supervisor. 

Unlike most school districts, Shawnee Mission's officers operate separately from municipal police forces.

The Kansas City Star says Shawnee Mission is the only district to purchase assault rifles for its officers. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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