Clear Fork School Board candidates weigh-in on school safety

By Zach Jones -

In an effort to inform area voters about the upcoming Clear Fork School Board election,the Bellville Star hosted a public forum, in which residents had a chance to hear candidates speak on a number of issues.

In light of ongoing safety concerns at a number of schools throughout the area, candidates were asked to weigh-in with their opinions regarding school safety.

While candidates Nick Kuelling, Dan Freund, Carl Gonzalez and Ron Salkovick agreed that school safety is a top priority, their methods in assuring students’ safety slightly differed.

“It is first and foremost something we are concerned with it all times,” Freund said of school safety. “Each school needs detailed crises plans from our teachers and our adminstrators.”

“The first step is more training for our teachers,” Gonzalez echoed. “Whether it’s a gun or bomb they need to be prepared. I think our administration has done a great job at that.”

The topic of allowing teachers to obtain a concealed carry permit that would allow educators to be armed in the classroom is a topic of debate across the region. The initiative is in an effort to reduce the risk of school shootings. When it came to arming teachers in the Clear Fork School District the candidates were split down the middle.

“You cannot legislate evil out of the world,” said Salkovick. “I don’t have a problem with a firearm in our schools if it’s properly trained.”

“People that are well trained are very safe with guns,” Gozalez stated of the issue. “If you have people well trained I wouldn’t have a problem with our teachers carrying guns to defend our schools.”

“There are liabilities with arming teachers,” argued Freund. “As educators we nurture people, we don’t hurt people. Asking us to use a firearm (properly) is probably beyond our skill set.”

“As long as people continue to feel empowered with a weapon, we will continue to have this issue brought up,” Kuelling said. “People feel safer with a gun.”

For more of the candidates’ positions on a number of issues, check our website for continued coverage.

By Zach Jones