Toppenish School District's Armed Administrators Gets National A - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Toppenish School District's Armed Administrators Gets National Attention

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The Toppenish School District is paving the way for an additional security effort by arming and training some of their administrators. The Toppenish School District is paving the way for an additional security effort by arming and training some of their administrators.
TOPPENISH, WA.--The Toppenish School District is paving the way for an additional security effort by arming and training some of their administrators.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  

When school starts up again in the fall, 11 Toppenish School District Administrators will be armed for additional security purposes.

"The first responders are usually our administrators, and if our administrators or myself, if we're willing to put our lives on the line, we need to be prepared, said John Cerna, the Toppenish School District Superintendent.

This extra security effort has gotten nationwide attention. The story was picked up by the Associated Press and run by Fox News and the Washington Times.

"Are you surprised by how much press attention this has got?"

"Oh no, not at all," said Randy Town, School Safety and Security Coordinator. "No, not at all because it's new and innovative."

"When you put yourself out there sometimes, there's the naysayers out there that don't agree," said Cerna. "But this isn't about  that. This is about making sure our kids are safe and our staff are safe."

"I haven't heard a lot of negative feedback from people about Toppenish moving forward with this," said Town. "In fact, if I've heard anything, I've heard people say it's about time."

The superintendent said Toppenish has been working on this effort for about a year once it was approved by the school board.

"They didn't even question it," said Cerna. "They said if you can get it done, get it done."

Volunteers had to pass background checks, get concealed weapons permits and go through training similar to that of law enforcement.

Town said he won't be surprised if other schools in the country work to adopt the same policy. In fact, Town said Bickleton is already seriously considering it.
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