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Second Amendment Rights For Teachers At School?

by Gerri L. Elder

She says she doesn’t want to be perceived as an “Annie Oakley” type, and prior to purchasing her weapon a few years ago she was not a gun rights or Second Amendment activist.

This Oregon teacher, known only as “Jane Doe”, is suing her employer for the right to carry her gun into the high school classroom where she teaches.

The Medford, Oregon teacher has filed a lawsuit against the school district in response to a policy that prohibits her from packing her Glock 9-mm pistol when she is on school property.

Teacher Packing Heat

The main reason that the woman wants to have her pistol with her when she is at school is that she says she and her children have been threatened by her abusive ex-husband.

She has a restraining order against him, but she feels that she needs the additional protection that her gun provides.

She has obtained a license to carry a concealed weapon.

The case against the school district has both sides on the gun issue ready for debate. Firearms and school safety, to some, go hand in hand; but to others they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

The policy of the school district that employs “Jane Doe” is that only law enforcement officers are allowed to carry weapons on while on school property.

The school reminded Ms. Doe of that policy when they became aware that she had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and intended to bring the gun to school with her.

The decision as to whether or not to let the teacher carry her gun on school property actually may not be one that the school district has the authority to make. It seems that state law dictates that the decision is to be made only by state legislators.

Oregon state law says, “any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.”

Teacher Backed By Gun Rights Groups

Gun rights groups are backing the teacher and they insist that she has the right under the Second Amendment to carry the weapon, even to school.

While she is busy challenging the validity of the school district’s policy in court, lawmakers around the country are also busy. Bills are being filed to legalize and make it a common thing for school employees to carry guns at school.

Some of the bills being filed even have provisions to provide the members school staff with special weapons safety training if they wish to not only teach at school, but to be a part of their school’s security program.

The lawyer who represents “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit, James Leuenberger, says “There’s a specific state statute that prohibits local governments, including school districts, from passing laws or policies prohibiting people from owning or possessing firearms.”

The teacher has now inadvertently become an activist for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

She says that in addition to wanting to carry the gun for her own personal safety, incidents such as the shootings at Colombine High School and Virginia Tech University have made her believe that having responsible adults on campus with guns could prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening at schools. S

he also says that if a violent criminal enters a school with a plan to commit violence, they know that there is no one there that can stop them. She thinks that if the school staff was able to carry weapons, and it was known that they have the weapons, it could deter these violent criminals and increase school safety.

Not everyone is ready to have teachers carry guns on school property.

Most school administrators, teachers’ organizations, and law enforcement agencies are in support of laws banning guns at schools. Thirty-seven states currently have laws in place that specifically ban firearms on school property, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Additionally, police officials say that in a school shooting situation, having more guns in the middle of it all would put more people in danger.

While Jane Doe has her say in court, gun rights groups and school administrators across the country are waiting and watching very closely, as this high-stakes case is very likely to affect far more than one teacher and one school district in the long run.