Enterprise school board chairman Kevin Melville said he looks at school security from three points of view: as a parent, as a school board member, and as a former Enterprise student (he graduated in 1991).

He said, as a parent, “you’d like to do everything possible to make the school safe,” while as a school board member you have to look at the cost of everything. He believes the school is doing a good job with security, but noted that, like other schools in the county, Enterprise’s school was built many decades ago when there wasn’t a concern about such things as how many entrances there were.

With more doors locked now, he said, staff members have to go around to make sure a student didn’t prop a door open with a rock for easy access.

In an ideal world, Melville would like to see a brand-new school built with only one entrance for the public.

About guns in school, Melville confirmed that right now “we don’t allow them,” but remembers in his student days when he and many others left rifles in their unlocked vehicles, without a second thought. Some kids, he said, even stashed their guns in their lockers so they could go squirrel hunting after school.

“Times have changed,” he noted.

He feels the legal issue of teachers being allowed to have guns at school (with a concealed gun permit) is a gray area and it is even more confused from a philosophical point of view.

“Personally, I don’t have a problem with it, if the teacher is properly trained and knows how to handle a gun,” Melville said, adding that those qualifications remain a big concern.

Are you a parent or other member in a family that has a child in a Wallowa County school? Go to the Chieftain’s Facebook page to share your thoughts about our local schools’ security.

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