Residents protest for and against guns in schools

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Members of the community gathered outside the Basil T. Knight building Tuesday before the District 51 School Board meeting, protesting for and against having armed personnel in schools.

Following protests, the District 51 School Safety Work Group presented their recommendations after months of weekly meetings. None of the recommendations included immediate action on whether to arm people in schools, but they left room for future discussions.

Protestors outside of the building were passionate on either side of the issue and held their ground.

"The children's lives are precious; the people's lives are precious. We need to discourage this type of thing from happening," said former teacher Diane Cox.

Community member Eric Rechel said adding in more guns anywhere is no way to curb violence.

"The whole issue of guns in schools and in the public is so contrary to a peaceful society," said Rechel.

A Grand Junction high school student agrees.

"I don't want a world ruled by force sure an armed people is a polite people but do we really want a society where you have to have the threat of something happening to you in order for you to respect someone else," said student Tristan Noel.

But former patrol office-turned-pastor Richard Predovich said he won't feel safe until he knows his kids are protected at school, and said from his experience, response time is imperative.

"The best defense for someone being attacked is someone who is right there as the attack is happening to have the capability to defend themselves," said Predovich.

Many other parents and community members spoke before the board and presented very compelling opinions. One man said he understood the view that teachers aren't supposed to be armed guards but says they aren't supposed to be pallbearers at their student's funeral either.

One mom and teacher said she would take a bullet for a student but will not stand by and let guns into the schools she works and pays for.

The school board will now consider which safety recommendations to implement. Members have not released a timeline for those decisions.

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