Guns on campus get second look
How vulnerable are Springboro schools if a shooter entered a building? Does the district emergency plan adequately address the topic? Those are the questions school board vice president Jim Rigano wants answered.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Cincinnati Enquirer.
#1 Jan 14, 2013
Rep. Mark McCullough (R-OK) announced today his plans to file legislation that will, among other things, allow CLEET-certified teachers and principals to carry firearms at school and at school events.
“We cannot continue to be shackled by politically correct, reflexive, anti-gun sentiment in the face of the obvious – our schools are soft targets,” said McCullough, R-Sapulpa.“It is incredibly irresponsible to leave our schools undefended – to allow mad men to kill dozens of innocents when we have a very simple solution available to us to prevent it. I’ve been considering this proposal for a long time. In light of the savagery on display in Connecticut, I believe it’s an idea whose time has come.
“ I trust my children to my local teachers and principal every day. I want to give these trusted, responsible educators the ability to defend themselves and our children in the same way any normal parent would, in the face of the unthinkable.”
McCullough and many other legislators have been seriously examining our gun laws for revision, beginning with a 2011 legislative study.
“We’ve been doing our due diligence on this topic. It’s important to get it right,” said McCullough.“CLEET certification is the exact same training our law enforcement professionals receive. Obviously we do not want firearms out and about in the school where students might have access to them. For that reason, if educators are allowed to carry firearms, it is necessary that they have them on their person at all times.”
McCullough said he plans to ensure there is funding available for CLEET certification for educators. He would also like to see schools coordinate with local police departments.
“One idea that has been discussed would be to actually designate these educators as reserve officers with local police and sheriff departments,” said McCullough.
#2 Jan 14, 2013
In response to last week's Connecticut school shooting, state Rep.-elect Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, says he will file legislation to allow public school teachers to carry concealed weapons while on campus.
The bill, which Villalba is calling the Protection of Texas Children Act, would permit Texas schools to appoint a member of their faculty as a "school marshal." The marshal, with training and certification, would be able to "use lethal force upon the occurrence of an attack in the classroom or elsewhere on campus," according to a press release from Villalba, a newly elected state representative.
“Unfortunately, law enforcement personnel cannot be everywhere at all times," Villalba said in a statement. "We need to talk very frankly about how we can protect our children if the unthinkable should occur."
Villalba's move is one of several Texas responses this week to the elementary school shooting that has rattled the nation. On Monday, Attorney General Greg Abbott said 78 Texas school districts do not meet state-mandated safety standards to protect students. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, have both said publicly that the events in Connecticut could have been avoided if school officials had been armed. And at an event in Tarrant County on Monday night, Gov. Rick Perrysuggested that local control should rule — and school districts should decide for themselves whether to allow their employees to carry firearms.
Under current Texas law, school districts can grant written permission for employees to carry firearms on campus. Harrold ISD, a district in northwest Texas with roughly 100 students, allows teachers to carry concealed handguns under what they call a "Guardian Plan," set up in the wake of the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech.
David Thewatt, the district's superintendent, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that his district did not want a plan where you "lock yourself in your closet and hope that an intruder won't hurt you." As with Villalba's proposal, employees there must be approved by the school district in order to carry a concealed firearm.
The Texas Education Agency has no policy on concealed weapons in schools, and looks to local district attorneys to enforce current laws, agency spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said.
Villalba's proposal would create a training system for potential concealed-weapon holding employees of public schools, which would be paid for either by school districts or the employees themselves. Under his plan, there would be one armed employee for every 400 students, marshals who would be unidentifiable except to the school principal, law enforcement and school district administrators. The employees would purchase and maintain their own weapons.
#3 Jan 14, 2013
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (TheBlaze/AP)— Jessica Fiveash sees nothing wrong with arming teachers. She’s one herself, and learned Thursday how to safely use her 9 mm Ruger with a laser sight.
“If we have the ability to stop something, we should do it,” said the elementary school teacher, who along with nearly 200 other teachers in Utah took six hours of free gun training offered by the state’s leading gun lobby.
It is among the latest efforts to arm or train teachers to confront assailants after a gunman killed his mother and then went on a rampage through Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children and six adults before killing himself.
In Ohio, a firearms group said it was launching a test program in tactical firearms training for 24 teachers. In Arizona, the attorney general is proposing a change to state law that would allow an educator in each school to carry a gun.
The moves to train teachers come after the National Rifle Association proposed placing an armed officer at each of the nation’s schools, though some schools already have police officers. Parents and educators have questioned how safe the proposal would keep kids and whether it would be economically feasible.
#4 Jan 14, 2013
ST. LOUIS (KMOV)-- A firearms safety instructor says SAFTI, the Saint Louis Association of Firearms Training Instructors, is offering St. Louis-area school teachers what he calls “almost free” training so they can obtain a concealed carry permit.
Instructor Michael Meyer said the offer is good for any certified teacher in the St. Louis area or from outstate Missouri.
Meyer said those who take part must pay the range fees, but the class will be free. He said range fees typically run about $15 and classes for a concealed carry permit generally run from $80 to $150.
In a debate where emotions run high, Meyer says he heard the same arguments several years ago when Missouri voted on the concealed-carry law.
“When concealed carry passed they said there would be wild-west shoot outs, blood in the street,” he said.“None of that’s happened.”
Meyer says he wanted to make free lessons available to teachers before the Newtown, Conn. school shootings and felt now was the time to act.
But so far it appears there’s not one district in the state that allows concealed guns on campus.
St. Louis Public School District Spokesman Patrick Wallace says only police and licensed security officers are allowed to have guns on campus.
Wallace said teachers or staff who violate the school policy, even if they possess a concealed carry permit, face disciplinary action which may include termination.
In Jefferson City, lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow teachers to have guns that may -in effect- trump a district’s policy.
But one backer says it is not the intention of any new law to override a school district’s wishes.
The debate over allowing guns on campus is sure to fire up both sides on the issue.
“I think it has a very good chance of passing,” said Meyer.“Maybe not first try, but second try.”
Meyer says right now the classes would be offered only to those who are certified teachers. However, it is possible that it could expand to include school staff as well.
#5 Jan 14, 2013
School teachers in Ohio are flocking to free firearms classes in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school massacre, some vowing to protect their students with guns even at the risk of losing their jobs.
More than 900 teachers, administrators and school employees asked to take part in the Buckeye Firearms Association's newly created, three-day gun training program, the association said.
The Dec. 14 tragedy in Newtown, Conn., sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides.
The deaths of 6- and 7-year-old school children led President Barack Obama to promise "meaningful action" to curtail gun violence, while the National Rifle Association has advocated arming teachers and placing trained guards in each of the country's 100,000 schools.
Ohio and Texas are not the first to offer no-cost arms training to teachers. Just days after the Connecticut mass murder, some 200 teachers in Utah underwent free instruction from gun activists.
Critics ridicule arming teachers as a foolhardy idea promoted by overzealous gun enthusiasts, saying it would only add danger to the classroom while distracting teachers from their job of educating children.
Supporters say an armed teacher could have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook, where a 20-year-old man armed with a military-style assault rifle killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.
"What we know is that these spree killers are looking for the highest death toll possible. They look for no-gun zones like schools," Valentino said. "It doesn't make sense that we guard our gold with guns and we guard our kids with hope."
The Buckeye Firearms Association, which successfully lobbied for 2004 legislation allowing people to carry concealed handguns, is offering all eligible state educators free admission to what it calls "an intensive three-day class where you will learn many of the same skills and tactics used by first responders."
Of the more than 900 applicants so far, 73 percent were teachers and 10 percent were kindergarten teachers, Valentino said. Sixty percent were male and 51 percent worked in high schools, he said.
Ohio law does not expressly prohibit guns in schools and leaves it to each individual school board to set policy. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine referred to teachers as "first responders" after the Connecticut shootings and announced his office would expand safety training for Ohio school employees.
Valentino was adamant that Ohio's armed teachers remain anonymous, citing concerns that local media might reveal who was taking the course.
"The idea is for no one to know what teachers might be carrying. It would be very dangerous to identify these teachers. We don't want to put a target on them," Valentino said.
#6 Jan 15, 2013
Wow! You can sure say THAT again!!
Tommorow morning January 16, 11:45 AM, all major networks.
America's schools will be tuned in to watch president Obama in his attempt to justify the disassembling of our 2nd Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Tomorrow teachers and students of Springboro schools will be listening to our president speak of "sweeping" new gun control measures he intends to ram up our arses without bothering to utilize the checks and balance system of Congress.
At the exact same time Obama is speaking tomorrow, his two daughters Sasha and Malia Obama will of course be enjoying top-notch protection by an undisclosed number of armed Secret Service PLUS a minumum of a half dozen armed private security guards while attending the elite Washington D.C. Sidwell Friends School.
Just imagine how secure our Springboro students could collectively feel if they could realize just A FRACTION of this defensive security.
#7 Jan 17, 2013
Now, Lisa Babb and President Barack Obama have something specifically in common.
Both have flagrantly paraded school children in front of the media for the purposes of either initiating or promoting their respective agendas.
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