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View Full Version : Harrold school district's gun policy violates law, group says


Pred@tor
08-21-2008, 12:52 PM
By MARK AGEE
rmagee@star-telegram.com


Attorneys for a Washington, D.C.-based gun-control advocacy group have the tiny school district of Harrold in their sights.

The 110-student district, 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth near Wichita Falls, made international news last week with a new policy that allows teachers to carry handguns if they have a state permit and permission from the district. The move appears to be unprecedented.

But the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says school officials may be violating state law.

"When I first read about this, I couldnít believe it was legal," said Marsha McCartney, president of the Texas chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "It turns out it wasnít."

Harrold Superintendent David Thweatt didnít return a phone call late Tuesday, but he has said that the district researched the idea for a year before presenting it to trustees. He has also said he is confident in the legality of the policy.

The change was necessary because his school is 30 minutes from the closest law enforcement agency, the Wilbarger County Sheriffís Department, leaving students unprotected, he said.

Gov. Rick Perry endorsed the concept of Harroldís policy at a news conference Monday, citing mass shootings he said could have been stopped if the victims had been armed. He cited the training required before a Harrold teacher or staff member can be approved to carry a gun as a factor that should alleviate concerns.

The legal issues

Texas criminal law prohibits firearms at schools "unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution."

That is the section of law that Harrold officials cited when discussing the policy.

Brady Center lawyers cite a section of the education code that could cloud the issue.

It reads, "If a board of trustees authorizes a person employed as security personnel to carry a weapon, the person must be a commissioned peace officer."

Cheryl Mehl, an Austin attorney who represents Harrold, said that statute does not apply in this instance.

"It says thatís the case if they are employed as a security personnel," she said. "These are not security personnel. Those are teachers who are just helping to make sure the school is a safer place."

Mehl said the issue is a matter of local control and "within the boardís authority."

"The Legislature has empowered them to govern and set policies as they see fit," she said.

Brady lawyers also said the policy is simply a bad idea.

"One of the reasons our nationís K-12 schools are far safer than surrounding areas of society is because firearms are very tightly regulated on school property," a memo from the lawyers to the Texas chapter states. It cites federal data showing that children are safer at school than elsewhere. "It is a myth that gun-free schools increase the dangers to our children."

Local schools

Tarrant County school districts prohibit guns unless they are carried by police.

Fort Worth, Arlington, Birdville, Carroll, Grapevine-Colleyville and Hurst-Euless-Bedford have arrangements with police departments to provide school resource officers.

"You cannot bring a gun onto school property whether youíre staff, a teacher or administrator regardless of whether you have a conceal-carry license," said Clint Bond, a spokesman for the Fort Worth district. "The only people who are authorized to carry weapons on our campuses, in school district facilities, are police."

Texas districts can operate their own police departments, as Mansfield and Aledo do.

"With [Harroldís] particular situation, being in a rather remote area, Iím sure they just donít have the funding to have a full-time police department," said Mike Leyman, the Mansfield districtís police chief. "I think each school district has to make decisions on whatís best for them, and I guess this is the Harrold districtís approach."

Most area teachers would oppose a policy that encouraged them to carry guns at school, said Larry Shaw, director of the United Educators Association. The group represents 16,000 teachers in Fort Worth and surrounding areas.

"I think it would scare teachers to death," he said. "One, itís too much responsibility. And thereís also the possibility of accidents."

Staff writers Traci Shurley, Matt Frazier, Jessamy Brown, Shirley Jinkins and Eva-Marie Ayala contributed to this report, which includes material from The Associated Press.

School violence The rates at which teenagers were victimized by crime, both violent and nonviolent, declined both at and away from school between 1992 and 2005.

Fourteen homicides at school were reported in 2005-06, the latest year for which data was available.

About one homicide or suicide of a youth at school occurs per 3.2 million students.

Students are about 50 times more likely to be a homicide victim at nonschool events.

Source: Education Department

MARK AGEE, 817-685-3813

http://www.star-telegram.com/state_news/story/844988.html

Theseus
08-21-2008, 2:37 PM
I love the Brady's!

BigMac
08-21-2008, 2:41 PM
WOW our schools are safer than the surounding areas!

Cmon dont these guys watch their own liberal news...

CCWFacts
08-21-2008, 2:51 PM
The 110-student district, 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth near Wichita Falls, made international news last week with a new policy that allows teachers to carry handguns if they have a state permit and permission from the district. The move appears to be unprecedented.

WRONG, Mr. Reporter. We have precedent right here in CA. I'm sure there are teachers in this state with CCWs. There may well be primary schools in California that have policies that allow teachers with CCWs to carry (I don't know of any but it's possible). I'm sure there are university faculty and students with CCWs who carry legally on campus in this state.

The change was necessary because his school is 30 minutes from the closest law enforcement agency, the Wilbarger County Sheriff’s Department, leaving students unprotected, he said.

Sure, someone with some experience, and a whole lot of loaded magazines, can sustain a rate of fire of at least 1 shot per second with any ordinary semi-auto, or even a revolver with speed loaders. 30 min = enough time to shoot aprox. 2,000 times. Someone could wipe out the entire district (teachers, students, janitors, livestock) by the time the police arrive.

Getting gun advice from the Bradys is like getting PETA to tell you how to cook your steak.

GaryPowersLives
08-21-2008, 2:56 PM
Getting gun advice from the Bradys is like getting PETA to tell you how to cook your steak.


:rofl2:

yellowfin
08-21-2008, 3:00 PM
The Bradys know just how big a threat this is to their massive empire of absurdity.

jb7706
08-21-2008, 4:28 PM
WRONG, Mr. Reporter. We have precedent right here in CA. I'm sure there are teachers in this state with CCWs. There may well be primary schools in California that have policies that allow teachers with CCWs to carry (I don't know of any but it's possible). I'm sure there are university faculty and students with CCWs who carry legally on campus in this state.

The University of Utah filed suit a few years ago to keep CCW's off of campus. The courts told the University to stuff it, the U was State property and CCW's could not be banned from carry per state law. Suit is still winding through Federal couts, but for now students and teachers are able to defend themselves.

Contrast that to the Trolley Square shooting a couple years ago just blocks from that same school where a foreign nutjob choose to attack unarmed women and children in a "gun free" zone.

You decide.

eltee
08-21-2008, 5:52 PM
Off duty and retired cops who are authorized to CCW are often hired as teachers on a full or part time basis. It can be an unspoken presumption that while on campus, they are carrying. Banks often hire off duty cops as tellers for the same reason.

Shotgun Man
08-21-2008, 6:17 PM
Off duty and retired cops who are authorized to CCW are often hired as teachers on a full or part time basis. It can be an unspoken presumption that while on campus, they are carrying. Banks often hire off duty cops as tellers for the same reason.

What self-respecting cop is gonna wanna be a bank teller in his off hours?

BroncoBob
08-21-2008, 6:20 PM
The Brady Bunch what a bunch of morons.

deleted by PC police
08-21-2008, 6:41 PM
"One of the reasons our nation’s K-12 schools are far safer than surrounding areas of society is because firearms are very tightly regulated on school property," a memo from the lawyers to the Texas chapter states. It cites federal data showing that children are safer at school than elsewhere. "It is a myth that gun-free schools increase the dangers to our children."

This is why I don't trust liberals or liberal ideas. They will flat out look you in the face and lie when it comes to guns so why am I to believe anything else they say?? It's obvious after you wade through the BS they want to disarm Americans so that their agenda can proceed un-inhibited.

Pred@tor
08-21-2008, 9:56 PM
They dunno whats a reasonable gun law is anymore... Really there are no reasonable gun laws to them anymore. This just shows their true colors now don't it?

Sgt Raven
08-22-2008, 1:13 PM
Most area teachers would oppose a policy that encouraged them to carry guns at school, said Larry Shaw, director of the United Educators Association. The group represents 16,000 teachers in Fort Worth and surrounding areas.

"I think it would scare teachers to death," he said. "One, itís too much responsibility. And thereís also the possibility of accidents."


You think this little weanie would pee his pants if he knew how many people around him are packing every day. :p ;)

Pred@tor
08-23-2008, 8:49 AM
There is no such thing as an accident with a GUN! This is why gun safety is so important. Knowing what lies beyond an intended target is very important. Just follow the rules and most likely there will never be any problems.

PonchoTA
08-23-2008, 9:36 AM
I keep saying this, and it's even more evident: The gun-grabbers, the anti's equate carrying a gun with shooting a gun. They also do not see any difference whatsoever between bad guy carrying a gun and good guy carrying a gun. It's the gun they are concentrating on.

To them, just because you have access to a gun, any second now, you will pull it out and start shooting. They think the opposite of us in that their perception is that armed, anybody can become a shooter, whereas we are of the mindset that unarmed, anybody can become a victim.

Honestly, until we can show even MORE compelling evidence that the threat of being shot back at PREVENTS crime, we will never be able to press our case forward. If in the next 2-3 yrs after D.C. is able to re-arm themselves, and the crime rate starts dropping, we can use that as evidence. If the crime rates in all the other places that banned gun ownership drop there too, it will be further evidence. Frankly, I can't see our case moving forward without this kind of "in your face" evidence.

:(

God Bless The Mauser
08-23-2008, 12:51 PM
We need to make liberals illigal in this country.