Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen has been chosen as one of 12 state Chief School officers to head up a newly formed School Safety Steering Committee. The committee put together by the Council of Chief State School Officers will meet at the end of the Month in Salt Lake City, and Arntzen hopes to bring a unique perspective to the table.

"Very few states, less than 10, do any election by any means," Arntzen said. "What Montana brings to the table is that elected western flavor. I am accountable to the voters. It is more specific in our constitution that we are local control."

Arntzen believes the issue of firearms is too dominant when it comes to school safety and that other issues need to be addressed.

"Number one I do not want it politicized," Arntzen said. "I believe that the large national discussion is all on one issue and it can't be. There are multiple ways to look at school safety and it is about the students, but it is also about the staff."

Arntzen says she hopes to discuss a federal grant program sponsored by Senator Steve Daines called the STOP grant, which will help provide for staff training in areas like mental health awareness.

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