- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

OKAY, Okla. (AP) - A rural school district in Wagoner County has erected signs on campus this week informing visitors that some staff members have access to guns.

The Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/23LzjzQ ) reports that the signs read, “Please be aware that certain staff members at Okay Public Schools can be legally armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.”

The signs follow a gun policy that was approved by the Okay Public Schools board last August allowing administrators who meet state and school board criteria to bring a gun on campus if it’s concealed on their person or kept in a locked box.

“Having a sign in your front yard saying ‘this is a gun-free zone’ just tells the idiots, “Come on in,” because we can’t defend ourselves,” Superintendent Charles McMahan said.

Okay established its gun policy after an Oklahoma bill allowing certain people to carry handguns on public school property was signed into law last May.

McMahan said the requirements in Okay’s police exceed those of the state, which require anyone who carries a handgun on school property to be certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training and have a concealed-carry license.

McMahan estimated that fewer than 5 percent of district employees are armed.

“(Okay’s) sign might be enough to send somebody down the road looking for some other soft target,” McMahan said. “If that’s what it does, it’s helping our school district out.”

McMahan declined to say whether he carried or had access to a gun on campus.

“We’re trying to do everything possible for the safety of our kids,” he said. “We’ve tried to think out every detail. I’m not saying we have. If we see something else that needs to be adjusted, we’ll go through and rewrite the policy and have the board approve it.”

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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