The Gardner Police Department has a plan to deal with any USD 231 on-campus situation.
“Gardner PD has a comprehensive plan in place to deal with any active shooter or on-campus situation in our schools. The PD trains annually on the plan,” said Jim Pruetting, Gardner Chief of Police, “ For obvious reasons, the plan is not open to public view. “
Pruetting said that Gardner police work closely with USD 231 officials, and are aware of the district’s policy regarding guns on-campus.
“Yes, we are very familiar with their policies,” Pruetting said. “I do not want to comment specifically on what their policies are, as they should come directly from them.”
Leeann Northway, USD 231 public information officer, responded to questions sent to district administration by highlighting links to online policies.
According to the link provided, “The school administration and staff are responsible for handling any disturbance caused by adults or students . The final decision for determining if assistance is needed is the responsibility of the superintendent, or designee, or school principal.”
In addition, “Unless otherwise required by law or authorized by board policy, no person other than a law enforcement officer shall possess a firearm on any district owned or operated property; within any district owned or operated building or facility; in a school vehicle; in an employee’s personal vehicle being used to transport students or school staff in the performance of job duties for the district; or at any school sponsored activity, program, or event,” according to policy addressing disturbances at school or events.
Northway confirmed the district has a policy dealing with emergency situations.
“Yes, USD 231 has crisis plans in place in the event of all emergencies. As appropriate, portions of the crisis plan developed is held in strict confidence by staff members having direct responsibility for implementing the plan,” Northway said.
School Resource Officers are allowed to carry guns on school property in accordance with state and federal law. “In regard to anyone else, the district’s policy in accordance with applicable state and federal law would dictate that,” Pruetting said.
Anyone caught carrying a gun on school property in violation of the applicable state statute is a Class B Misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. Pruetting said.
There are AG opinions on Kansas State Law that clarify how the most recent changes to state law affect guns on school property.
According to Northway, all school district policies can be found online at: