DOLORES COUNTY - When a Senate bill was shot down last month to arm public school teachers with guns, many districts backed away from the idea. But a tiny district in southwest Colorado did not.
In a few weeks, School District RE-2J in Dolores County will arm its superintendent and high school principal with handguns.
Ty Gray is the current high school principal at Dove Creek. He and District Superintendent Bruce Hankins will be equipped with handguns within the following weeks. Gray says it's not something he wants to do, but he feels it's necessary.
"As a district we feel this is the best way to protect our kids in case something were to ever happen," Gray said.
Their school district is as small as small gets. There are about 260 students total. There are no school resource officers and no deputies to roam the halls.
"The next town is pretty much 30 miles away so there's not much law enforcement here all the time," Gray said.
Last month, Senate Bill 9, which would allow teachers to be armed, was rejected. But Colorado law allows permit holders to carry concealed handguns on school grounds as long as they're contracted as a security officer. In this case, the school district will give those roles to the superintendent and principal.
"There's never been any school resource officers here. Right now with the budget cuts and everything else - there's just no funding to pay another person to be in this school," Gray said.