Why Are School Boards Putting More Guns In Schools?

I spent 8 hours watching and re-watching a Florida school board meeting.  I saw a group of smart, articulate women, and a few men, create strong cases against the proposal to arm teachers and staff.  They provided excellent information and examples of the problems when you bring guns into schools on a permanent basis.

Brevard County School Board appears to be dedicated to a controversial program to arm school staff, despite calls from the superintendent and sheriff to focus their efforts elsewhere and despite droves of residents who have been protesting the program. Tim Shortt / FLORIDA TODAY

I was especially pleased to see them bring up the issue of negligence with guns, liability and ongoing cost of insurance. Especially concerning for school districts is the huge financial risk because of Monell liability.  These were questions the board was unable to answer.  (Video link of the Brevard County school board expressing their confusion around liability, insurance, and asking questions about costs.)

Then I watched some people, who had just explained all the serious problems with guns in schools, come out in support of guns in schools. What the what? In this case these guns would be in the hands of police officers, called . . . → Read More: Why Are School Boards Putting More Guns In Schools?

Parkland Teacher’s Gun Accident Raises Questions for School Boards

Yesterday a Stoneman Douglas teacher left a loaded gun in a public restroom.  A drunk, homeless guy found it and fired it. Luckily nobody was hurt, but “they found a casing in a corner of the bathroom and later found a projectile also in the bathroom.”

Stoneman Douglas teacher Sean Simpson, left his gun in a bathroom

The teacher, Sean Simpson, was arrested and “charged with failing to safely store a firearm, a second-degree misdemeanor.”

The homeless guy, Joseph Spataro, 69, was charged with trespassing and firing a weapon while intoxicated.

This is an important story because it raises questions about who pays for the damage caused when there is an accident involving a gun that was legally carried into a public building, business, church or school that chose to allow the gun inside.

I’m sure someone will dismiss this incident because “technically it didn’t happen in a school.” But incidents just like this happen all the time, there is even a “guns in bathrooms” tumblr page.  With more guns, and new concealed carriers, more of these type of incidents will happen in schools.  However, no gun, no gun accident. But for the gun, there would be no gun left in . . . → Read More: Parkland Teacher’s Gun Accident Raises Questions for School Boards

Protected: Women Brandishing Posters Protest Gun-Lobbyist Cox

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What Are The Costs and Consequences of Metal Detectors in Schools?

Schools districts across the country are having town hall meetings to discuss school safety.  A number of solutions will be proposed. Unfortunately, sometimes the people with faulty solutions are great at selling them and getting funding for them. When people are afraid, they often write big checks to the people who claim to offer a solution. Remember those nude X-ray scanners that were put in at airports? They didn’t work. Scientists: Body Scanners Don’t Work, Corbett Was Right   Did you know that the Department of Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff, promoted the technology and Homeland Security placed the government’s first order, buying five Rapiscan scanners? Eventually the government bought over 300 of the machines that didn’t work.

One of the suggestions people will make in these Town Halls will be for metal detectors. Lincoln Journal Star education reporter Margaret Reist asked Jon Sundermeier, Lincoln Public School Security Coordinator this question during podcast about security for Lincoln Public schools. “There is a lot of talk about metal detectors. Do we need metal detectors? Why do we not have metal detectors?”

Jon Sundermeier, LPS Security Coordinator

“Again, that’s another community decision. If you think about when you visit the Lancaster County courthouse, if you look at the staff there, . . . → Read More: What Are The Costs and Consequences of Metal Detectors in Schools?

Lawmakers Determined To Get Guns In Schools

Right now the NRA and their supporters are using the Parkland shooting as an opportunity to get multiple people carrying guns into schools all around the country. I’ve been watching legislative sessions and Town Halls in Kansas, Tennessee and Florida where lawmakers are voting to create and fund armed teachers programs.

Here is Republican Randy Fine during a Town Hall on March 28th sponsored by Florida Today   First he said that in his meeting with 12 Parkland students, they didn’t ask about gun control. Then, “What I’ve heard is you like more guns in schools. You just want them to be SROs.”

The NRA strategy in Florida (and other states) is to go to lawmakers who are in charge of school safety and say, “Fund the programs that put people with guns in and around schools.” Then that money gives the NRA lawmakers financial leverage over school safety programs. The money goes to NRA approved training programs in schools and programs to train teachers to use guns.

I’ve watched education resources in Tennessee and Florida get carved up for programs putting guns in schools.  When people asked to move that training money to a totally different areas that didn’t involve guns,  they found . . . → Read More: Lawmakers Determined To Get Guns In Schools