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South Carolina May Allow Teachers to Carry Guns on Campus

South Carolina May Allow Teachers to Carry Guns on Campus

Other states have allowed teachers to carry as a preventative measure.

After a deadly school shooting in October that killed a six-year-old student, South Carolina Rep. Joshua Putnam (R) introduced a new bill that would allow teachers to carry a gun to protect children:

“It would incorporate mostly live shooter scenarios. So then teachers are familiar with how to approach that gunman on campus, how to interact with getting children away from… danger situations and how to confront that until law enforcement arrives,” said Putnam.

Judy O’Neal, a teacher in Rock Hills, supports the idea. She believes that a teacher “with proper training would improve safety in schools.” She also knows it will not go into effect overnight:

“I believe it will take a lot of planning and a lot of scrutinizing before it just hops on to campus,” O’Neal said.

Dr. Jacqueline Persinski told Fox News she does not support the bill, believing that more guns cause more violence. Instead, she wants the responsibility of protecting children to stay with the school resource officers (SRO):

“Our police officers are trained by profession to handle hostile situations, and teachers are not,” Persinski said. “If a situation were to occur, I believe our SRO and police are well-trained and fully capable of managing it effectively and efficiently. Teachers are trained to protect students in lockdown procedures and will protect the students until police arrive. Using weapons is completely different. “

But Putnam explained that not all schools in South Carolina have those officers, especially in the rural areas:

“It would cost the state of South Carolina $83 million to hire enough resource officers to have one in every single school,” Putnam said. “With all the challenges we face in the state, from road funding, to teacher shortages, to teacher pay, to highway patrol funding, trying to find $83 million in the state budget is quite difficult. But we do believe it’s a worthwhile goal. I think we need to work towards eventually having a school resource officer in every single school in South Carolina.”

Putnam also said for now, arming teachers will “be the quickest and cheapest solution” until the state can instill officers in every school:

Putnam says the new bill covers training requirements, which would be designed and implemented by local law enforcement.

“The state law enforcement division would have to develop materials and a training class that would be offered free of charge… It would be similar to a [concealed weapons permit] test and training, but it would incorporate mostly live shooter scenarios.”

The principal and school district would approve any teacher that volunteers to carry. The teacher must then complete “training and get certified by the State Law Enforcement Division.” The principal and some members of the board will only know which teachers decided to carry that day:

“They would have to sign a log at the office of the school allowing the principal and the administrators to know that they’re carrying that day,” Putnam said.

Unfortunately, school shootings still occur and other states have decided to take this route as a preventative measure.

In June 2015, one small Idaho school district “purchased firearms and trained a handful of staff to use them should a school shooting happen.” This district is located far from the reaches of law enforcement:

It takes police at least 45 minutes to reach the Garden Valley School District, which is made up of less than 300 students all taught under the same building. Limited funds have prevented the school from hiring police officers to patrol the building during school hours.

As a result, the school board approved this month purchasing guns to remain locked inside the school and trained six employees to use the weapons in case of an emergency.

“I hope we never have to use them,” said Alan Ward, a school board member who has been discussing this option with the school for two years. “But in the event something did happen, we wanted to be prepared.”

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Comments

I’ve never seen a compelling argument as to why an adult who happens to teach should be deprived of their 2nd Amendment rights during work hours.

This is especially true in light of the ample history of American kids bearing arms to and from school without killing anyone. Over a century or two…

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | November 17, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I remember when I was in High School you could go out in the student parking lot and see trucks with gun racks and hunting rifles all over the place.

    I have carried for more than 20 years. Now I work as a school nurse and it concerns me because not only can I not carry while at work, (Yes, I carried everywhere else I worked including hospitals), but since I am not even allowed to bring it on campus I can not have my firearm for the 20 minute drive to or from work. I have 2 steel gun safes in my SUV but I am not allowed to lock a firearm up in my vehicle while at work.

    For those of you who claim that it would endanger the children because then there would be more bullets flying around all I have to say to that is that I realize that anyone who would make such an argument is the type of person who would not have the courage to put themselves between children and danger, but I can tell you this if it were me any return fire that came from me would be with me between the gunman and the kids.

    Now I am in favor of maybe requiring more intense training for people who carry at school and even regulations on types of holsters that must be used, but I would gladly do both to be able to carry at work.

Countermeasures, even for something as basic as defense, are of dubious value when the problem is down in the noise level.

There are approximately a hundred thousand public schools in the US. And how many of them ever have a problem which could be solved by firepower? Statistically, approximately zero; i.e., noise. So, the chances that any particular gun will be used to terminate an atrocity are vanishingly small. But the chances that that same gun will be involved in a stupid and entirely avoidable accident, while small, are probably not as small. In that case, arms would lead to more mayhem than benefit, on average.

Another factor is that the idea that the students won’t know who is carrying, and when, is pure fantasy. Personnel they don’t see all day would be better if secrecy is the goal … administrators (except that most of them are useless, unless things have changed radically since my own school days) or custodial staff (who generally aren’t useless at all).

Maybe guns in decent lockboxes bolted to the walls right next to the school’s current collection of fire extinguishers would do the job. Put alarms on the boxes so the kids in the science and shop classes don’t try to get in. Then on “lockdown” they can be retreived by whichever authorized personnel happen to be in the room, and put back when the crisis has passed.

None of the above means that I’m not in favor of qualified adults being legally permitted to do just about anything anywhere, including concealed or open carry, and including schools. I’m only addressing the school shootout problem.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to tom swift. | November 17, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Guns in boxes are useless, even more so than guns that are carried without a round chambered. If the feces hits the oscillating air motivator and you have to herd children to safety the last thing anyone will think about is opening the gun box.

    A firearm not carried on the body is no protection at all. I feel the same about guns carried in purses, they may as well be left at home.

I’m SICK of all the attempts at laws that only effect law abiding citizens. Criminals don’t obey laws. That is why they are CRIMINALS! How about a law that enhances penalties for criminals that don’t post a notice 24 hours before attempting a robbery? Or a rape?

Here is the number one reason why school systems do not allow their staff to carry guns while working; LIABILITY. As soon as an employer allows its employees to be armed with deadly weapons, it assumes responsibility for any negligence on the part of the employee with regard to that weapon. Even school bus drivers are required to hold a commercial driver’s license and undergo in-house training in many school systems, just to drive a school bus.

LEOs are universally required to undergo extensive training in the handling and use of their weapons. They are required to show proficiency in the use of those weapons on a regular basis. They undergo stringent psychological testing before being hired and are subject to evaluation for retention. It should be the same for armed teachers.

Now, if a school system and its teachers are willing to engage in extensive training and evaluation, on an ongoing basis, then arming teachers is fine. If the system and the teachers are not willing to make this kind of commitment, then it will eventually lead to disaster.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | November 17, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Man there is so much stupid in this I hardly know where to begin.

    “LIABILITY. As soon as an employer allows its employees to be armed with deadly weapons, it assumes responsibility for any negligence on the part of the employee with regard to that weapon.”

    Wrong, business all over the country have no policy against carrying firearms and I am not aware of a business ever being blamed or being held responsible for a legal use of a firearm by one of their employee’s.

    Also, most schools “weapons” policies are written for students not employee’s since it is against the law to carry on school grounds they don’t need a policy. (May school has no policy for carrying at work.)

    “Even school bus drivers are required to hold a commercial driver’s license and undergo in-house training in many school systems, just to drive a school bus.”

    Please point out where the right to drive a bus is given? Or the right to have a commercial drivers license?

    Also I see it has escaped you that Schools would not have to have a policy “allowing” anyone to carry a gun, since it would be covered in law, they just wouldn’t have to call the police if someone happened to see someone’s gun.

    “LEOs are universally required to undergo extensive training in the handling and use of their weapons.”

    ……ROFLMAO!!!!!!………ROFLMAO!!!!!……….Oh, that’s a good one. Most cops train during their academy training and the past of proficiency test that is far lower that even basic military standards. ”

    “They are required to show proficiency in the use of those weapons on a regular basis.”

    National average shooting requirement for cops is twice a year an between 20 and 50 bullets at static targets in a nice calm range with good lights. I shoot 200 rounds just screwing around, in a “training range day” I will shoot around 2000.

    Here’s a hint from someone who has faced cops in ameture shooting competitions, most cops can’t shoot for shit. Most cops who come to defensive pistol competitions, where you actually have to move and shoot, leave either pissed or humbled because 99% of the time the are at the flat bottom of the results. Now that is not the same for SWAT and Tactical units, but they don’t compete much.

    “They undergo stringent psychological testing before being hired and are subject to evaluation for retention.”

    However that testing has nothing to do with them carrying a gun, it is to see if they actually can exercise the power that the job gives them with abusing it. Also, with some of the ways some cops act that testing is wholly deficient. But the testing isn’t done to see if they are safe to carry a gun.

    “It should be the same for armed teachers.”

    Why? They are not going to use the gun to exercise their job, such as a cop does. They are simply carrying for defense. So the testing really doesn’t apply. Though since most schools have become liberal indoctrination centers I can think of other reasons for psych testing.

    “Now, if a school system and its teachers are willing to engage in extensive training and evaluation, on an ongoing basis, then arming teachers is fine.”

    See this is the kind of idiot idea that leads to liability. Once again you don’t have to have a policy either way, many companies have policies against “work place violence” but have no policy saying you can’t carry of you work there. The minute you put in a policy that says “its ok for employee’s to carry a gun” then yes you can become liable. Simple don’t have a policy either way. If the question is ever asked; “Why did you allow him to have a gun at work?” the simple reply is; “He has the right to do so”.

    “If the system and the teachers are not willing to make this kind of commitment, then it will eventually lead to disaster.”

    This is the same BS argument that is made by anti-gun psycho’s such as you about concealed carry. “It will be like the old west.”, “There will be shootings everywhere.”, or “It will lead to more and more deaths.” Blah, Blah, Blah, bullshit. These are always the screeds you hear but they have never come true, where are the places that are like the “wild west” or “warzones”? Places that restrict the right of the people to bear arms. Same for the; “But what about accidents?” Don’t happen any more or less either way. Sure make rule that any firearm carried on campus must be in a level 3 retention holster, I can go with that.

    In fact I would bet the net result of allowing concealed carry in schools would mirror the effect it has had EVERYWHERE else it has been instituted, which is a reduction in violent crime and theft. Know what the means don’t ya Skippy? Less school shootings, since these cowards that like to shoot places up never seem to chose places where they might catch a bullet in the ass while acting out their murder fantasies.

    No one is saying make it Mandatory to carry, that would be stupid. But as with most places you would end up with a couple of people carrying and everyone else would just ignore it and go on with life.

      I like how you ignore my use of the word NEGLIGENT. Negligence, in the use of a deadly weapon, is almost always UNLAWFUL.

      As to businesses all over the country allowing employees to carry weapons, check again. The majority of businesses, which have a policy dealing with the possession of deadly weapons by their employees, prohibit such possession. And, of course, the professions with the largest possession of firearms by their employees, the military and law enforcement, have extremely strict policies on the weapons allowed, the ammunition allowed, how the weapons are carried and stored in the employer’s facilities and vehicles and even, in some cases, how the weapon is stored in the employee’s place of residence. As well as detailed policy on when and how such a weapon may be used. Why do you think all those regulations exist? LIABILITY.

      As to school regulations, concerning weapons, you are again, incorrect. Most school systems also have a published policy which prohibits employees from having weapons on campus. In most states, this prohibition is subject to being overridden by school administrators to allow for instruction or events requiring firearms and for on-site security.

      I see that you were forced to play the “rights card” almost immediately. This is always played, by firearms advocates, when they have no rational response to a valid argument. But, if the argument that anyone has a “right” to carry a firearm “anywhere that they want” was valid, we could not keep firearms out of ANY government installation or property, including prisons and military installations, not to mention the White House, Congress and off of airplanes. However, the courts have continually ruled that valid security concerns trump the 2nd Amendment.

      On to the next advocate talking point. This always comes up and it is always the same; LEOs do not have very much training with firearms. The point, however, is that they have more, sometimes CONSIDERABLY more, mandated training and tougher qualification standards than does the general public, especially in those areas where constitutional carry is allowed.

      As to a teacher using a firearm in their job, this is a moot point. A LEO seldom actually uses his firearm in his job. The vast majority of the time it rides a holster on his belt or is secured in a vehicle or facility. In the case of both a teacher and a LEO, the bulk of their potential problem, with firearms, lies with the weapon somehow falling into the wrong hands; such as those of an inquisitive 3rd grader. Not to mention that the weapon may be stolen from the teacher’s possession, while the teacher in in the school. Then, of course, there is collateral damage, if the teacher has to use the weapon. Let one of the little chillen catch a round in the head, as the result of a mis-aimed shot, and see what kind of hell results.

      As to the rest of this post, it is just further pro-gun activist drivel. Handling and using a firearm safely and efficiently is not any easier than driving a car. It takes training and practice to do it safely. One does not simply pick up a firearm and become an instant deadly shot. LE has learned this. The military has learned this. But, pro-gun activists seem to have slept through that part of life. Schools are what are considered sensitive environments. This means that there is a lot of opportunity for collateral damage. A bullet which goes through the wall of an adjacent classroom can cause the tragic death of a innocent young child. A firearm not properly secured can be obtained by a child who can inadvertently injure or kill himself or another. Then there is the very real possibility that someone can disable the armed teacher, relieve that person of his or her firearm and now you have a dangerous person at large in the facility who is ARMED with a firearm.

      As to making it mandatory, of course you make it mandatory. What good is training and authorizing teachers to carry guns to defend the school, if they do not have to carry the defensive firearm? That is easily the stupidest thing that I have ever heard. I mean, what are the teachers supposed to do if the school is attacked and their firearm is at home? Leave the school and go home and get it?

      This is why I say that if a school is going to allow its teachers to be armed, it has to invest in significant training for them in the safe possession, handling and efficient and safe use of that firearm. If they do not and any harm befalls anyone through negligence on the part of the school employee, the school can be held liable for that damages. It is perfectly alright to arm teachers. They just have to be properly trained initially and the training has to be ongoing.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | November 17, 2016 at 11:12 pm

        The only time you used the work negligence is when you said “it assumes responsibility for any negligence on the part of the employee with regard to that weapon.” Which is complete an utter fantasy as is the rest of your post.

        Your basic argument is that to carry a gun in school teachers should have to be LEO’s which is just silly to be honest.

        As far as my “pro-gun activist drivel”, the nice thing about it is it is supported by facts, where your anti-gun stance is based on fantasy and irrational fear.

          But, I DID qualify my statement by using the term “negligent”. You used the term “legal use”, which changes the parameters of the discussion. Negligent use, even if the reason for the use was lawful, may still be illegal or actionable. Hence the liability issue.

          Also, I NEVER advocated turning teachers into LEOs. All I advocated was the very logical common sense requirement that people carrying firearms in sensitive environments, such as schools, be adequately trained to safely possess and use those weapons. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?.

          Here you make your most recent inaccurate assumption. I am NOT anti-gun. In fact, I am very much pro-gun. However, I also believe that people have to understand the problems associated with carrying a firearm. Simply strapping on a firearm does not magically instill any kind of proficiency in the use and carry of that weapon. Proficiency is developed through training and practice with the weapon. Just as it is in any other discipline. What many pro-gun activists and advocates seem to ignore is this stunning reality. They advocate for totally untrained, or woefully under-trained, people to be allowed to wander around toting deadly weapons. Unless that deadly weapon is a motor vehicle, then requiring training, evaluation and licensing is okay.

          All I am saying is that if a school is going to allow teachers to carry deadly weapons in a school, that those people should be adequately trained to do that safely. I fail to see what is controversial about that.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Gremlin1974. | November 18, 2016 at 1:36 pm

          @Mac45

          “Negligent use, even if the reason for the use was lawful, may still be illegal or actionable. Hence the liability issue.”

          Ok, I am willing to admit that I may not know everything, so please point out where a institution or business has been held accountable for an employee’s “negligent” use of a firearm.

          “Also, I NEVER advocated turning teachers into LEOs.”

          Actually, that is exactly what you did and here is a direct quote of when you did it.

          “LEOs are universally required to undergo extensive training in the handling and use of their weapons. They are required to show proficiency in the use of those weapons on a regular basis. They undergo stringent psychological testing before being hired and are subject to evaluation for retention. It should be the same for armed teachers.”

          You specifically say that it should be the same for teachers, in other words you want them to be trained to LEO standards, even though that’s not much of a standard. Now I am willing to concede that is not what you meant, but it is what you said. We seem to reply to each other on a fairly consistent bases so I would be more than willing to believe that.

          “All I advocated was the very logical common sense requirement that people carrying firearms in sensitive environments, such as schools, be adequately trained to safely possess and use those weapons. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?.”

          Which if you had read what I wrote earlier is something that I advocated, a short training program and that it be voluntary. I doubt that you would have very many actually take advantage of it. Though it is a myth that having guns in any area make it suddenly more dangerous and that is proven by facts, in fact to the contrary it seems to make them safer.

          Though I don’t like the use of the term “Sensitive areas” because that gives an in to declare other areas “sensitive” environments”

          However, here is my question. Why is a school suddenly a “sensitive area” They didn’t used to be in fact it wasn’t until 1994 that Democrats managed to ban guns from school grounds using a loophole in the commerce clause, before that everything was less violent not more. In Israel they mandated teachers carry firearms to protect students, which caused terrorist attacks to basically cease in schools. Also, in my state there are 8 schools that used a loophole in a law here to have staff be able to carry guns, before the Democrat AG managed to shut it down, though he couldn’t do anything about the already approved ones. Those 8 schools have had armed staff for 3 years now and not a single incident has happened.

          “I am NOT anti-gun. In fact, I am very much pro-gun.”

          All evidence to the contrary.

          “However, I also believe that people have to understand the problems associated with carrying a firearm. Simply strapping on a firearm does not magically instill any kind of proficiency in the use and carry of that weapon. Proficiency is developed through training and practice with the weapon. Just as it is in any other discipline. What many pro-gun activists and advocates seem to ignore is this stunning reality. They advocate for totally untrained, or woefully under-trained, people to be allowed to wander around toting deadly weapons. Unless that deadly weapon is a motor vehicle, then requiring training, evaluation and licensing is okay.”

          Except that this doesn’t actually comport with reality, most people who carry a gun with no training are criminals. Most people who carry for personal defense, which is what armed teachers would be doing, tend to seek as least some level of training and many practice at least every 3 months, which, tragically, is more than most LEO’s. Also, people who carry for self defense tend to be the most responsible members of society. Your vision of “woefully under-trained” people toting guns everywhere just doesn’t happen.

          “All I am saying is that if a school is going to allow teachers to carry deadly weapons in a school, that those people should be adequately trained to do that safely. I fail to see what is controversial about that.”

          I don’t have a problem with training. In fact I like what those 8 schools did here. They had the staff that were going to carry to at school go through armed security guard training and pass. They also purchased the firearms and they are stored at the school and picked up each day. They also bought the holsters that are used so they would use lvl 3 retention holsters.

          I like the armed security guard training idea. Though the idea of the school providing the firearms and holsters I am not a big fan of just because of cost. Most staff that wanted to carry most likely have their own firearms and I would replace that with a mandate that lvl 3 retention holsters must be used while at school. It would also decrease the financial burden on already cash strapped schools.

it’s a good direction but I see one problem right away that will kill this: “The principal and school district would approve any teacher that volunteers to carry.”

Never happen … school administrators and principals absolutely must be taken out of the mix for the law to be effective.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to The Packetman. | November 17, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Don’t make it a part of policy at all. Just remove the policies and laws that affect it either way and let the natural right take back over. You will end up with maybe a couple of people who carry regularly and everyone else will ignore it.

I’d think that training the teachers as SROs would be the best “solution” for the interim. Train ’em over the summer.

Frankly, I don’t think Gun Free Zones do anything but make it easier for the criminals and crazies. But we all know that from the data already.

Heck, one of Forstchen’s book “Day of Wrath” explores the possibility of how a terrorist attack on many public schools could go down.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to profshadow. | November 17, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    SRO’s are actual cops so you are talking about police academy training, I called to check since we have an open academy here that lets anyone who can pay sign up, it costs 24K per person. That is just impractical.

    Not to mention that if you do something like that you open the school up for liability. Like I said earlier just remove the policies and laws that affect it either way and let the natural right take back over. Its not like you will have teachers walking around like a Clint Eastwood western. A couple of folks will start carrying and that will be it.

Maybe before a criminal can shoot someone in a gun free zone, they should be required to provide the victim with a firearm with to defend themselves. But dammit, criminals just aren’t trustworthy.

I know a public school teacher with a CCP who carries at work on the sly, despite it being a huge no-no with school administration. She says, “whenever we have an emergency, the *last* people you’ll see coming to help is administration people, not until it’s all over and the local press shows up, like after the Floyd Flood. If there’s a shooter at my school I want more than a dryboard eraser in my hand.”

I have to wonder how many public school teachers across the country do the same, carry against school policy?

The above teacher lives and works in rural NC, grew up on a tobacco farm. Rural folks love weapons or at least understand them, so I could see a surprisingly high percentage working at rural schools. I asked her if she knew other teachers who secretly carried and she just smiled.

When I think of urban area school teachers, I also see plenty of reasons for teachers to carry secretly. Can you imagine being a high school teacher in Chicago or Detroit? ‘Nuff said.

‘But, Henry, they have metal detectors and stuff at schools.’ Yup, and much of it sits in a closet, its operators lost to budget cuts, according to the above teacher friend of mine. That was the first question I asked her, how did she avoid school security. Her school has but doesn’t use their state-issued detectors, while the school resource officer waves teachers in every morning without checks.

Dr. Jacqueline Persinski couldn’t be more wrong. And a quick social media scan reveals her to be a liberal activist.

I defer to the expert on this issue:

“I had one high school where the principal, three teachers, and a janitor showed up for class. They had just had an event where there had been a threat against the school and their resource officer had turned up AWOL. This had been a wake up call for this principal that they were on their own, and he had taken it upon himself to talk to his teachers to find the willing and capable. Good for them.”

http://monsterhunternation.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

To steal from Insty: “Read the whole thing”.

I’ve been defending the 2nd for 30 years, and this is one of the best essays I’ve come across.

“The teachers are there already. The school staff is there already. Their reaction time is measured in seconds, not minutes. They can serve as your immediate violent response. Best case scenario, they engage and stop the attacker, or it bursts his fantasy bubble and he commits suicide. Worst case scenario, the armed staff provides a distraction, and while he’s concentrating on killing them, he’s not killing more children.

But teachers aren’t as trained as police officers! True, yet totally irrelevant. The teacher doesn’t need to be a SWAT cop or Navy SEAL. They need to be speed bumps.”

http://monsterhunternation.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Fen. | November 17, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    “But teachers aren’t as trained as police officers! True, yet totally irrelevant. The teacher doesn’t need to be a SWAT cop or Navy SEAL. They need to be speed bumps.””

    Bingo!

    P.S. Are you a MHI reservist as well? lol.

MHI reservist?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Fen. | November 18, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Monster Hunter International Reservist, lol. Noticed the article was from the monsterhunternation.com. MHI reservist is basically a Larry Corea Fan.

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