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Good idea or disaster in the making?

St. Helens lifts ban on teachers carrying guns | Portland
by Cornelius Swart, Staff

ST HELENS, Ore. -- The St. Helens School District School Board Wednesday night lifted a ban on teachers and staff carrying firearms on school grounds.

In March, the board had banned employees, contractors and volunteers from bringing weapons the property.

The old policy stated, "This prohibition includes those who may otherwise be permitted by law to carry such weapons.”

In the same month, the St. Helens softball team raffled off an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

With the ban now lifted, teachers and staff with concealed-carry permits can carry guns anywhere at school, as allowed by state law.

Ray Biggs is a St. Helens school board member who championed the repeal. He said that the district has no position on whether teachers should bring guns to class, but he personally supports the idea.

“Absolutely,” Biggs said. “The NRA says the only way you can stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun.”

Biggs said the issue had been on his agenda since 2011, when he was admonished for having a gun on school property.

Biggs said the vote Wednesday was not part of a grudge.
“It was done out of concern for the safety of the schools,” Briggs said.

John Walker has lived in St. Helens for seven years with his wife and son. He said the school board vote took parents and teachers by surprise.

Walker, whose wife is a teacher, found out about the vote the next day through the teacher’s union.

“Other than the agenda on their website, the school board did not advertise this at all,” Walker said. “They didn’t solicit community input at all. It had nothing to do with the school board’s role in education. It just seems to be a statement about the Second Amendment.”

He said he feels his 7-year-old son is now less safe at school.

“The district has now given permission to have guns on campus,” Walker said. “You can have a concealed-carry permit and be on the grounds. That’s a big leap of faith.”

Kevin Starrett, director of the Oregon Firearms Federation, said civillians are already allowed to carry guns on school ground if they have a concealed-carry permit.

"But an employer can prevent employee from coming to school with a gun," Starret said.

Starret said his organization offers free weapons training to teachers and supports the St. Helens move.

"It's long been time to arm school teachers," Starret said.

St. Helens Chief of Police Terry Moss said he was neutral on the issue so far.

“Some people in law enforcement worry if some teacher has a gun that they would cause confusion in an active shooter situation,” Moss said. “They worry police wouldn’t know who the shooter was.”

"But on the other side, time is of the essence," Moss said. "So, some think, 'What if there was a trained person who could take action.’ I think about that teacher in Reno who was shot last week. What if he had had a gun?'"

When contacted by KGW, staff at the school district only said they were preparing a statement for public release.

I'm on the fence about this. What do you all think? Will teachers with concealed weapons create a safer situation or more danger in our schools?


Asked by Ballad at 2:39 AM on Oct. 28, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • I always find this debate so cute. Everyone, in every state, everyday you leave your house, you are in proximity to someone who is carrying a gun. Every day before that, and before that, and before that. None of these guns have magically unholstered themselves and shot you. None of them have suddenly made their owners into irresponsible idiots who decided it would be fun to play with a gun in a public place and accidentally shoot someone. None of them have transformed an average grocery cashier or accountant into a spree killing maniac.

    People who feel their children are less safe by KNOWING teachers might have guns need to invest in some boy in the magic bubble tech, because that means their kids are less safe EVERYWHERE.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 8:54 AM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • The school district was very aware of this as members of the school board were buying guns then selling raffle tickets to raise money as a fund raiser for the school! Actually, they raffled two of them.
    So by the citizens of the community saying they weren't aware, they had their heads buried in the sand.
    I'm all for it as long as the teachers are properly trained to use the weapons.
    We have quite a few teachers here that carry concealed and it's not against the law.

    Answer by KTElite at 2:58 AM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • As long as they are legally owned and the individuals are not breaking any laws by carrying the weapons then I have no issue with it. I have never had an issue with law abiding citizens owning and carrying weapons.

    It's the illegally owned illegally carried weapons that I have an issue with.



    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:45 AM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • Canceled carry is just fine IMO. Even in schools for the teachers and administrators and security. But It should be noted that that means you may have the gun on your person and in your control at all times.
    A gun on the desk, does not qualify for this IMO.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:38 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • Teachers should not carry guns in school. That is how I feel. They want more protection. Pay for some protection.

    Answer by louise2 at 7:43 AM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • I would feel much safer knowing that a trusted teacher was armed and might be able to protect my children with something other then using their bodies as shields. I'm sure at some point in time we'll have a teacher go off the wall and be the one doing the rampage but I believe that will be more of the minority then the majority.

    As far as I've seen/heard every school shooting has been from people who obtained their guns illegally. Even the teens who had the guns in their homes did so illegally as they did not have the proper permits to have them.

    Answer by baconbits at 11:08 AM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • depends on the teacher/administrator. you cant discriminate between the ex-military jROTC teacher who is currently training students in firearm safety and the Vietnam Vet teacher who has active flashbacks in the classroom. and yes those are both real teachers i had growing up. id also worry that a kid would take a teachers gun, cause some ppl arent really very good at "concealed" carrying. the responsibility is too great to not take seriously. and i fear most ppl will not take it as seriously as they should (cause ppl in general are stupid).

    also, crazy shooter in the school is not like target practice. between the adrenaline, the fact that you cant just stand out in the open and shoot, and the fear, i dont think most ppl are prepared to "take down" the bad guy. its not like in their imaginations or in the movies. again, it all depends on the person carrying.

    Answer by okmanders at 1:44 PM on Oct. 28, 2013