Update on Oregon School Teacher Carrying Gun

An update on the Oregon public school teacher who wanted to carry her permitted concealed handgun with her to school is here:

Shirley Katz, who teaches at South Medford High School, is seeking to overturn last year's Circuit Court ruling upholding a school district policy that forbids employees from carrying guns on campus. . . .

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75 School district Employees in three Oregon School Districts have Concealed Handgun Permits

It is difficult to get a handle on the number of people in schools with handgun permits. 75 employees might not be a large number, but it would be useful to first figure out how many this implies on average per school in those districts.

More than 75 school district employees in the Eugene, Bethel and Springfield school districts have concealed handgun permits, but it is unclear how many, if any, carry their weapons to school.

The lawsuit of Shirley Katz, a Medford teacher who wants to carry a 9mm Glock on the South Medford High School campus, has garnered national attention, and last week a Jackson County judge denied Katz’s request to carry her gun to school.

State law is clear that holders of concealed handgun licenses can carry concealed weapons into schools. But in his ruling, Circuit Court Judge G. Philip Arnold said the Medford district’s policy, which prohibits employees from carrying weapons on school property, overrules the law.

Katz plans to appeal the ruling, and the question remains: Should teachers with concealed weapons permits be allowed to take guns into the classroom? . . . .

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This is why we need to arm teachers: Glenn Beck deserves a lot of credit for this story

On Glenn Beck's page scroll down to the middle of the page and click on the video for "Exposed: The Perfect Day". Beck says that the government is sitting on this information because they are "afraid that the American people will panic." I think that this is the information that we need for a rational discussion on arming teachers.

Glenn's guest, Brad Thor, gets it partially right when he says "You want an armed presence at your school." He then points to armed guards and police. The problem with armed guards and police is that if they are present, they will be the first ones taken out. It is good to have some there, but it is cheaper and much better to allow armed teachers and staff. He makes four points on school security: deter, detect, delay, and destroy. Armed teachers and staff can help with all these four points (even "detect" because they might be more able to successfully detect and alert others if they are armed). The deterrence, delay, and destroy aspects are more obvious. Thor points to Israel, but he doesn't mention that they arm teachers in Israel.

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New Op-ed: Teachers Packing Heat?


Oregon School Teacher will carry gun with her


Case Where Gun Free Zone Law Endangered Life?

So what was this woman supposed to do? More bizarre is what is the motivation for these letters to constantly be sent to all the school childrens' parents whenever anything happens at school. In this case, why not send a note to other school teachers? It almost smacks as a type of indoctrination.

(The Olympian, September 26, 2006) LACEY - A 33-year-old teacher at Nisqually Middle School is on administrative leave after school officials discovered she brought a .38 Special handgun - along with bullets - on school grounds Thursday, according to the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.

Teacher Mary Catherine Roe, who lives in Shelton, told deputies she was fearful of her husband and that he used a gun while assaulting her, according to a sheriff's report. Roe also has a domestic violence protection order against her husband, according to Mason County records.

No decision was made Monday about whether Roe will face criminal charges, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dave Ryan said.

Roe is under investigation for the charge of unlawfully carrying a firearm, which was in her purse, on school grounds. The law says no one except law enforcement officers can bring a firearm onto school grounds. The charge is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Nisqually parents received a letter from the school Friday explaining that a staff member brought a weapon to school and was placed on leave. The letter reminded parents that it is against state law to bring any firearm to a school campus. The letter did not name the staff member. . . .

Follow up. This woman's life has essentially been ruined because she took the only really reasonable action to ensure her safety.

(The Olympian, October 24, 2006) LACEY -Teacher facing gun accusation has resigned A North Thurston middle school teacher accused of bringing a gun to school earlier this year has resigned from North Thurston Public Schools. The North Thurston Public Schools board accepted the resignation of Mary Catherine Roe, who taught language arts at Nisqually Middle School. . . . .

(The Olympian, December 13, 2006) LACEY -Teacher with gun might not face charges Gun possession charges might be dropped after a year of probation for a former Nisqually Middle School teacher caught on campus this year with a pistol in her purse, the Thurston County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday. Mary Catherine Roe of Shelton faces charges of violating the state law banning firearms from school campuses in most cases, a gross misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail or a fine of . . . .

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The Debate over Guns in Schools

Here is the debate in the Deseret News: Guns Don't Belong in School verus Armed first responders are needed in schools.

Here is a summary of the debate from the anti piece:
In Utah, some schoolteachers who have concealed weapons permits carry handguns to school. Some teachers say they carry concealed weapons because they want to be able to defend themselves and others should an intruder threaten school staff or students. A proposal before the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council would permit teachers with the appropriate gun training to become "special function officers," which would be akin to a school district security officer, a hospital security officer or a port of entry agent. The POST council has taken no action on the proposal.
The Utah Chiefs of Police Association opposes the proposal

I also received this note original ascribed to Charles Hardy: "Just to clarify, as best I understand it, a couple of rural districts would like to allow teachers or other school employees to take a 'POST lite' course so they could pull double duty as school resource officers rather than just carrying as private citizens as permitted by CCW permits. No effect on CCW, though those with CCW permits might be logical first choices to enlist to the program. I just love the logic of the antis: a college-educated teacher is too stupid or untrustworthy for this, but a guy who never went to college is smart and trustworthy enough? I really do view it as more insulting to teachers than to gun owners."

When people debate about the risks of having guns on school property why don't they try to answer the following?
1) Can they name one problem that has arisen since guns were again allowed in Utah schools? What about Oregon? What about all the states that allowed concealed handguns in school parking lots (thus within the 1,000 foot rule)?
2) Can they name one problem that arose in all the right-to-carry states that allowed guns in schools nationwide prior to the end of 1995? This is before there was any 1,000 foot rule. Please list just one instance where there was a problem?

Thanks to N. W. Clayton for sending me these links.



"Nevada state senator proposes letting teachers carry guns"

Will someone please explain to me why the discussion of what might happen completely ignores the actual historical experience that we have had with teachers and others being able to carry guns on school property? Utah, Oregon? What about all those right-to-carry states that allowed people to carry concealed handguns prior to the end of 1995?

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Nevada state senator and also-ran in this year's Republican primary for governor says the Legislature should consider letting teachers carry guns in classrooms to stem a rise in school violence.

"I would expect enough teachers would be interested so it would serve as a deterrent," said Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas. He said he's preparing a bill to introduce when state lawmakers convene in February.

While Beers said teachers would have to undergo firearm safety training, Las Vegas-area school officials said that allowing more weapons on campus would make schools less safe.

"The more people who have guns, the more likely it is that there will be a shootout," said Clark County school Superintendent Walt Rulffes. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he was aware of no studies supporting Beers' argument that schools would be safer if teachers carried guns.

School trustee Sheila Moulton said teachers might need more training to identify and deal with potentially violent students. But she rejected the idea of arming teachers.

"That is not the solution," Moulton said. "I'm not for putting guns in the classroom even when teachers are trained on how to use them." . . .

Thanks to Saturdaynightspecial for alerting me to this.

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More on teachers and guns

More than a dozen teachers and public school employees will spend part of their UEA weekend in a classroom — learning how to use a gun.

Clark Aposhian is offering a free class today to public school employees seeking to get their concealed- weapons permit.

"It is self-defense," he told the Deseret Morning News on Thursday. "But because teachers and school administrators and custodians are typically surrounded by students all day, any threat to any individual with a firearm would also be a threat to those students."

The concealed-weapons instructor's offer was met with opposition from some teachers and union representatives at the Utah Education Association's conference in Salt Lake City. . . .

But Utah law now makes clear schools can't prevent people with concealed-weapons permits from carrying firearms on campuses. Granite School District's policy, for example, allows permit holders to keep their gun "readily accessible for immediate use," but bans teachers from leaving their weapons in a desk drawer or coat closet.

Law enforcement officers never have to give up their guns at the school house door.

Aposhian said he does not want teachers to suddenly become "heroes" in the event of a school shooting. In fact, he said, they should continue to follow school lockdown procedures, which include teachers locking doors and remaining in classrooms. . . .



More on whether teachers should be able to carry guns at school

"Just taking a course and shooting some bullets down-range every six months does not adequately prepare you for the potential risk of having that gun taken from you," said Pochowski, a former Milwaukee police officer.

"These high school students are bigger than they've ever been," he said. "We've seen them take guns from police officers who are trained in how to retain that weapon."

The measure has also drawn criticism from gun control advocates, both in and out of Wisconsin.

"I'm shocked," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "When I'm making a decision on where to send my kids to school, there's a lot of factors that go into it. I don't think people want to look at the marksmanship scores at the same time they're looking at the academic scores."

"I think it's an absolutely ridiculous response," said Tom Mannard, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. "This will help score some points with at least the gun lobby in Wisconsin. I don't know that it's going to help educators and those in the classrooms." . . .

A couple of responses:

1) Prior to the end of 1995, almost all the states with concealed handgun permits at that time allowed people to carry concealed handguns on school property. I know of no case where there was any problem.
2) Utah and Oregon allow people to currently carry concealed handguns on school property (I would have to check in New Hampshire also). I know of no case where there has been any problems.
3) Other countries allow this (Israel and Thailand), but again there are no problems that I have been able to find and there is no discussion in either place of preventing this policy from continuing.



Detailed information on teachers carrying guns

Detailed information on teachers carrying gun is available here, here, here, here, and here.

Here is also another news story on the recommendation that teachers and others be able to carry concealed handguns on school property.



Thailand trains teachers on how to use guns to protect themselves from Islamic terrorists

From CNN.com

CHULABHORN NAVAL BASE, Thailand (AP) -- "When you pull the trigger, you've got to keep steady," the instructor sternly told the elementary school teachers. "If your hand is shaking you can't shoot."

Teachers have one of the deadliest jobs in southern Thailand, with 44 killed by the bombs and bullets of an Islamic insurgency since 2004.

So the teachers are learning how to shoot back.

The Chulabhorn naval base, on the Gulf of Thailand in Narathiwat province, opened its heavily guarded gates on a recent Sunday to a training course for 100 public school teachers, mostly Buddhist men and women who say bringing a gun to school has become essential.

"You'd never see a teacher anywhere else in Thailand carrying a gun," said Sanguan Jintarat, head of the Teachers' Association that oversees the 15,000 teachers in the villages and towns of the restive south. "But, we need them, or we'll die."

That teachers -- not to mention Buddhist monks, bank tellers and motorcycle mechanics -- have become targets in the insurgency illustrates how badly law and order has degenerated in southern Thailand since the violence flared in January 2004.

At first insurgents targeted mainly civil servants, soldiers and police officers. Attacks then spread to businesses that serve soldiers: restaurants, outdoor markets, garages. And now come attacks that seem to have no rationale at all, such as the murder last month of an elephant trainer who was shot seven times by gunmen who had lined up with children to buy tickets for a show.

More than 1,700 people have been killed across Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat -- the only Muslim-majority provinces in this otherwise peaceful, tourist-friendly Buddhist country.

Among them was a teacher gunned down at his blackboard in July as his 4th graders watched in shock, and a Buddhist art teacher clubbed by a village mob in May until her skull shattered.

Teachers may be targets, officials say, because they are symbols of the central government's authority, or be taken hostage to be traded for captured insurgents, or because the militants want to do away with secular schools, sending the message that only Islamic schools -- which have been spared violence -- are safe.

But almost everything about this insurgency is a mystery. It isn't clear whether the militants want a separate Islamic state in what was a Malay sultanate where insurgent violence has waxed and waned over the past century. No goals are stated, no responsibility is claimed for attacks, and no allegiance to foreign Islamic groups is declared. Authorities insist the uprising is purely domestic, but have been unable to arrest any leaders. They have flooded the area with 20,000 troops, but some local officials compare the predicament to that of the U.S. military in Iraq.

Lately militants have unleashed a wave of coordinated bombings every few weeks that kill sparingly but suggest a new level of sophistication and determination. Less than two weeks ago 22 banks were bombed simultaneously, dealing a potentially devastating blow to the local economy.

"Of course teachers should not be carrying guns, but they need to protect themselves," said Srisompob Jitipirmosri, a political science professor at Prince of Songkhla University in Pattani province who tracks the violence. . . .

Thanks to Don Kates for sending this to me.



Teachers carry guns in classroom in part of India