Weapons Allowed in School – for Hunting Class

Umatilla School Board
Umatilla students will use safe hunting rifles, like this one, in the upcoming "Outdoor Adventure" after-school class.

The Umatilla School Board approved on Thursday the second and final reading of a new district weapons policy which will allow weapons on campus – for law enforcement and instructional purposes.

The amended policy will help facilitate “The Outdoor Adventure,” a class the district has planned, with help from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, for its STEM Academy afterschool program. The class will cover hunter safety, survival skills, first aid and camping and will include the use of student rifles and archery equipment.

The guns do not have ammunition – only laser lights – but are sized and weighted the same as hunting rifles. The arrows in the archery unit have blunt tips, and the district plans to add rubber ends before the class begins.

“These arrows, if it hits you, it could leave a bruise, but it is not going to (pierce) you,” Umatilla School Superintendent Heidi Sipe said. “These are going to be very safe.”

From left: Umatilla School Board Chairman Toby Cranston swears in new board members Dauna Griggs, Paulette Dufloth and Jon Lorence during a recent Umatilla School Board meeting.
Students participating must have specific parental permission and a signed liability waiver to take the class and use the weapons.

Also during the meeting:
• Board Chairman Toby Cranston also swore in three new board members during the meeting: Dauna Griggs, Paulette Dufloth and Jon Lorence.
• The board authorized Sipe to submit the district’s Achievement Compact to the state. Because of a technical glitch with the ODE website, the board was not able to review or vote on the compact during the October meeting. Board members will review and vote on approval of the document during the November meeting but agreed to allow the superintendent to submit it to ODE before the deadline.
• Board members unanimously approved an amendment to the district budget to accept a grant for the district’s FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge teams. The grant will help pay for travel to competitions.
• Sipe asked board members to begin thinking of programs or staff to add back into Umatilla programs for the 2014-15 school year. The district will receive about $244,000 in PERS Reform funding in that year and will begin building a “wish list” in January.
• New board members Dufloth and Griggs agreed to join the work group discussing mandatory drug testing for secondary students in extracurricular activities. Shelley Kennedy and Pat Lafferty also sit on the work group.