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Should Teachers Be Allowed to Pack a Gun?

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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Should Teachers Be Allowed to Pack a Gun?
    Posted: 18-Sep-2007 at 21:41
I'm starting to hear rumbles like this in our area.  The majority of the talk is about protecting the kids.  What I worry about are the few who think it's to protect themselves from the kids.
 
 
Should teachers be allowed to pack a gun?

By Brad KnickerbockerTue Sep 18, 4:00 AM ET

In court documents, she's known as "Jane Doe." Innocuous enough, but the woman behind that pseudonym pushes one of the nation's hottest political buttons: guns and school safety.

What Ms. Doe wants to do is take her Glock 9-mm pistol to the high school in Medford, Ore., where she teaches.

She's licensed to carry a concealed weapon and she has what many supporters say is a legitimate reason for being armed: a restraining order against her ex-husband based on threats he's allegedly made against her and her children.

But district policy prohibits anyone except a law-enforcement officer from bringing a weapon onto campus. When word got out that she had a concealed-carry permit, administrators reminded her of that policy. There's the political rub: According to state law, "any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly."

Backed by gun-rights groups, Doe intends to challenge the school district in state court this week. Meanwhile throughout the country, lawmakers are filing bills that would make it legal for adult school employees to carry firearms, in some cases providing special weapons safety training for those who want to be part of their school's security force in addition to their classroom teaching duties.

Gun-rights groups and school boards around the country are paying close attention to the Oregon case.

"There's a specific state statute that prohibits local governments, including school districts, from passing laws or policies prohibiting people from owning or possessing firearms," says James Leuenberger, the Portland, Ore., lawyer representing the teacher.

"Jane Doe," who agreed to be interviewed by phone on condition of anonymity, says she does not want to be viewed as an "Annie Oakley." Trying to extricate herself from an abusive relationship led her to buy her first gun just a few years ago, she says. Prior to that she had not been an activist in defense of the US Constitution's Second Amendment provision regarding "the right to keep and bear arms."

But as a veteran teacher, she has come to believe strongly that having responsible armed adults on campus could have prevented tragedies such as those at Columbine High School in Colorado, Thurston High School in Oregon, and Virginia Tech University last April.

"I have no doubt at all that any time a criminal has gone into a school intending to commit violence they did so knowing nobody was going to be able to stop them," she says. "We've seen what happens when teachers do nothing or can do nothing, and that's not acceptable to me."

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states have laws specifically banning guns at schools. In general, administrators, teachers' organizations, and law-enforcement agencies favor such laws. In the confusion of a school shooting, police officials have said, adding guns to the situation just makes the predicament more dangerous.

The state panel investigating the April 16 shootings by a mentally disturbed student who killed 33 people at Virginia Tech University (the nation's deadliest school shooting) agrees.

"If numerous people had been rushing around with handguns the possibility of accidental or mistaken shootings would have increased significantly," the panel wrote.

But that has not stopped a push by the NRA and other gun advocates to allow guns on school property as a safety measure.

In Michigan last week, 16 state lawmakers sponsored legislation allowing teachers, administrators, and other school employees to carry concealed weapons on school property. Ohio has a similar bill pending.South Carolina, Alabama, and Virginia are among several other states that have considered lifting school campus gun bans this year, according to Stateline.org, which tracks state issues.

Louisiana lawmakers refused to pass a bill that would have outlawed guns in college dormitories, and legislators in Maine similarly killed a bill that would have given colleges the authority to prohibit guns on campuses.

Anthony Stavros, a member of the Nevada State Board of Regents governing higher education and a Las Vegas police captain, has proposed deputizing university employees as reserve officers, trained and qualified to carry weapons. The Iowa Board of Regents is close to allowing campus police to be armed.

But efforts to allow guns in grade schools and high schools tend not to get very far in state legislatures. The South Carolina measure failed. Administrators and the state teachers' union in Michigan have voiced strong opposition to the proposal there.

So far, just one state - Utah - allows concealed weapons on campus. Utah's law applies to public colleges and universities. The University of Utah opposed the 2004 legislation that allows weapons on campus (including those owned by students with concealed carry permits), but lost in the state supreme court.

For high school teacher "Jane Doe," who takes her case to court this week, the issue is very personal.

"I have two children in school," she says, "and I would like to think that if something like that ever happened, there would be somebody there to do the right thing to protect my kids."

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2007 at 22:26
No guns in the classroom. I am as pro-gun as they come, but teachers are supposed to teach, not be poster gals for the NRA. If their is a danger, than the school should be responsible for collective security.
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  Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2007 at 23:10
Wow! I recently read this stuff in the papers too and got to thinking of the times we live in. Can you imagine a stressed out teacher spraying some buckshot at a few kids?
 
Anyhoo, I agree with Sparten. The school needs to implement safeguards as best as possible. On the other hand maybe all students should be packing. Let's see some deviant open fire then. Nothing like the return  fire as a deterrent.
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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2007 at 00:03
No.  If you want to keep students and teachers safe, put security at the doors with metal detectors.  What happened to this new era of Tasiers? Allowing teachers to have guns is the (every expletive I have ever heard) idea I have ever come across.  Besides, disgruntled students can just take the guns from teachers, especially female ones, and then you have a problem thats many times worse than the hypothetical one you are trying to prevent.  Violence solves nothing.
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  Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2007 at 00:42
If you want to keep students and teachers safe, put security at the doors with metal detectors.


You do understand there are major problems to this proposal first off schools that have done this have basically turned schools into prisons, and the time spent in line waiting to walk inside can get tedious depending on the class size (every wait to go through security at an airport).

Also who's going to pay for the security and metal detectors? Public funds for schools are all ready quite thin thanks to parent's "not my job" mentality towards public education. I guess that means EVERY music and art department gets cut, as well as most other after school programs, just to "feel safe" when in reality these situations are quite rare.

Anyway, it's stories like this that make me more and more adamant towards home schooling my children.
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  Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2007 at 01:49

     Can I see a show of hands of whoever didn't do the homework for Chapter 8?

     Four of you? *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM*  *points gun to own head*.... *BOOM*

      I don't see how such a law wouldn't create more problems than its "solving". The NRA is supposedly afraid of mentally ill people handling guns at school but they want that spooky English teacher or that weird art instructor to carry one.

     Would anyone seriously trust all their teachers carrying a hand-cannon? One day we're going to really flip our lids and start arming the clergy to make the choir boys feel safe.

     And theres not many people who have the ability to be a good teacher AND safely handle a firearm while keeping their cool in a tense situation (in case another student decides to go apesh*t). If people are that scared for their children, they can just home-school them. Theres no need to increase expenses and lower the quality of teachers while making the campus a more unpredictable place.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 05:50
Personally I find that all posts thus far in this thread are a sad reflection on American culture. The fact that you even have to consider arming staff or placing metal detectors on all the doors is a sign that the culture itself has failed. The government is primarily responsible, but the flaws go back as far as the war of independence.
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 06:22
If teachers have guns its only a matter of time before a student steals a teachers gun, and well, you guess is as good as mine.
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  Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 08:44
Originally posted by Seko

Wow! I recently read this stuff in the papers too and got to thinking of the times we live in. Can you imagine a stressed out teacher spraying some buckshot at a few kids?
 
 
I think most of us can relate to ur concern.
 
Parents with guns is bad enough, but teachers??
I have two sisters that teach, and even they shouldn't be trusted with guns. If anything, the biggest danger would be to their own health.
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  Quote Penelope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 09:08
Originally posted by JanusRook

If you want to keep students and teachers safe, put security at the doors with metal detectors.


You do understand there are major problems to this proposal first off schools that have done this have basically turned schools into prisons, and the time spent in line waiting to walk inside can get tedious depending on the class size (every wait to go through security at an airport).

Also who's going to pay for the security and metal detectors? Public funds for schools are all ready quite thin thanks to parent's "not my job" mentality towards public education. I guess that means EVERY music and art department gets cut, as well as most other after school programs, just to "feel safe" when in reality these situations are quite rare.

Anyway, it's stories like this that make me more and more adamant towards home schooling my children.
 
I totally agree.
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  Quote Mortaza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 11:15
Funny. If teachers will protect children, why do we give money for police?
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  Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 11:56
Good question Mortaza. Many US cities underpay their Police and teachers. Then you don't have enough police patroling hot spots. Failed economy and local politics is the hinderance.
 
Even more devious, those underpaid police officers are susceptible to breaking the law and covering their violations from the public. Corruption is this issue.
 
Schools do need regular public safety. The more the better.
 
 
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 14:03
Originally posted by Seko

 
Even more devious, those underpaid police officers are susceptible to breaking the law and covering their violations from the public. Corruption is this issue.

Let's hope that that idea doesn't catch on with underpaid teachers:
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 14:27
Originally posted by Seko

Good question Mortaza. Many US cities underpay their Police and teachers. Then you don't have enough police patroling hot spots. Failed economy and local politics is the hinderance.
 
Even more devious, those underpaid police officers are susceptible to breaking the law and covering their violations from the public. Corruption is this issue.
....
 
Yes. Underpay police is the worst a country could have. That's why the police of Mexico and Guatemala really sucks. However, other reason for it is the lack of discipline in the formation of the police.
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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 18:38
Originally posted by JanusRook

If you want to keep students and teachers safe, put security at the doors with metal detectors.


You do understand there are major problems to this proposal first off schools that have done this have basically turned schools into prisons, and the time spent in line waiting to walk inside can get tedious depending on the class size (every wait to go through security at an airport).

Also who's going to pay for the security and metal detectors? Public funds for schools are all ready quite thin thanks to parent's "not my job" mentality towards public education. I guess that means EVERY music and art department gets cut, as well as most other after school programs, just to "feel safe" when in reality these situations are quite rare.

Anyway, it's stories like this that make me more and more adamant towards home schooling my children.
 
Yes I know, I don't think schools should have metal detectors or anything of the kind, I simply think if people are that paranoid about safety that is a better alternative to arming the teachers.


Edited by Justinian - 20-Sep-2007 at 18:40
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  Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2007 at 00:37
NO!! A gun could be taken and used against the original carrier. Sheriff's Deputies here in the US do not carry their side-arm into the court room during trial for the same reason. It would create more problems than it would solve. 
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  Quote Comet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2007 at 02:53
As a teacher, I would not even think of keeping a weapon in the classroom. I think a lot of the problem lies with the way teacher's incorporate students into their school culture and environment. For example, at the beginning of this school year I told my kids that my classroom should be like a family setting...no put downs are allowed, lifting up each other was the goal. I think a teacher who hammers this and instills this into the minds of our students, it might reduce the number of conflicts amongst the student body. So far so good...no one in my room makes fun of another student and a lot of students tend to help others when they need help.

Of course, this can only work if the kids buy into the concept :)
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2007 at 03:10
My experience of school was that teachers should be armed with a shovel and a clear set of instructions on how to use it. Manouvering certain stuff found in a cow field from a spot dubbed 'a' to another location labelled 'b'. In my experience many teachers would struggle to carry out this function.
 
 


Edited by Paul - 30-Sep-2007 at 03:11
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2007 at 04:27
What I am finding interesting is everyone seems to be focusing on the students as the source for the requests for carrying guns.  If you re read the article you'll find it's more concern for protecting the students.  The day before this article there was an incident at a school about a mile from the one I teach at.  An adult male in a ski mask fired several shots at the school.  Fortunately no one was injured.  This was the topic of the day the next day in our staff lunchroom.  I know I'm not thrilled with the idea.
Last year our school had a shooting incident of another type but it caused the school to tighten things up.  We now have electronic locks on our doors as well as some other precautions.  We also have gone through some intensive training in crisis intervention and prevention.  I believe that's the best and safest route, training and preparation.  Armed teachers would make a good plot for a FOX cop show, but not in a real school, in real life.   
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  Quote Comet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2007 at 21:34
Originally posted by red clay

What I am finding interesting is everyone seems to be focusing on the students as the source for the requests for carrying guns.  If you re read the article you'll find it's more concern for protecting the students.  The day before this article there was an incident at a school about a mile from the one I teach at.  An adult male in a ski mask fired several shots at the school.  Fortunately no one was injured.  This was the topic of the day the next day in our staff lunchroom.  I know I'm not thrilled with the idea.
Last year our school had a shooting incident of another type but it caused the school to tighten things up.  We now have electronic locks on our doors as well as some other precautions.  We also have gone through some intensive training in crisis intervention and prevention.  I believe that's the best and safest route, training and preparation.  Armed teachers would make a good plot for a FOX cop show, but not in a real school, in real life.   


I don't think it matters what the source for the conversation is...what matters is that someone is suggesting that we take weapons into our classrooms. This suggestion puts more students at risk than someone coming into the school with a weapon. I agree with you wholeheartedly...crisis training and preparation is the best way to keep students safe. Bringing weapons to school will only put every student at risk and could also encourage them to bring weapons to school as well.
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