Idaho school district buys rifles, will warn visitors building is 'armed'

GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho (KBOI) - The Garden Valley School District is arming itself and a handful of staff members with guns in case of potential security threats moving forward.

According to the district's school board minutes, the district has purchased four rifles and 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

The district is also considering spending up to $2,000 to purchase extra magazine rounds and body armor vests, according to school board documents. Each rifle was purchased for $680.

"We just have to protect our kids and we didn't want to do it in a haphazard way," Marc Gee, Garden Valley School District superintendent, told KBOI Friday.

School officials recently completed training with deputies from the Boise County Sheriff's Office this month. Signs will also be posted at both entrances at the K-12 school warning visitors that "our school is armed."

Gee told KBOI that the Garden Valley community has welcomed the added security plans.

"It's been positive - I have yet to have a community member come in and say, 'Why are you doing this?'" Gee said.

Garden Valley is about an hour's drive north of Boise via the Banks Lowman Road. It's set in a mountainous rural location with just over 200 students.

"(If something were to happen) we would have a 30- to 45-minute potential wait time for police to arrive," Gee said. "The loss of life would be just enormous."

Gee said the district worked with its legal counsel and the sheriff's office to put the plan in place.

"Obviously, we hope we never have to use them," he said.

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