I’ve reported before on teachers, guns, and zero-tolerance tyranny at the grade-school level and anti-gun lunacy on college campuses. The issue of allowing students and faculty with concealed weapons permits to carry on school grounds also was the subject of considerable debate during the VTech massacre aftermath.
Now, a high school teacher in Oregon is taking her case to court:
High school English teacher Shirley Katz insists she needs to take her pistol with her to work because she fears her ex-husband could show up and try to harm her. She’s also worried about a Columbine-style attack. But Katz’s district has barred teachers from bringing guns to school, so she is challenging the ban as unlawful, since Oregon is among states that allow people with a permit to carry concealed weapons into public buildings.
“This is primarily about my Second Amendment right and Oregon law and the simple fact that I know it is my right to carry that gun,” said Katz, 44, sitting at the kitchen table of her home outside this city of 74,000. “I have that (concealed weapons) permit. I refuse to let my ex-husband bully me. And I am not going to let the school board bully me, either.”
In Oregon, a sheriff can grant a concealed-weapons permit to anyone whose criminal record is clean and who completes a gun-safety course.
Thirty-eight states, along with the District of Columbia, prohibit people from taking guns to school, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. But it’s unclear how many offer an exemption for people holding concealed-weapons permits, since the council does not track such exceptions.
Superintendent Phil Long insists employees and students are safer without guns on campus at South Medford High School, where Katz teaches. The district plans to make that argument when the case comes before a judge on Thursday.
Katz’s request appears to be rare. School security consultant Ken Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services in Cleveland, said he has never heard of a similar case while working in 45 states.
Katz won’t say whether she has ever taken her 9 mm Glock pistol to school, but she practices with it regularly and has thought about what she would do if she had to confront a gunman. She would be sure students were locked in nearby offices out of the line of fire, and she would be ready with her pistol.
“Our safety plan at our school now is that if somebody threatening comes in, you try to avoid eye contact, and do whatever they say, and that is not acceptable anymore,” she said. Shootings at Virginia Tech University and the one-room Amish school in Pennsylvania, “reinforced my belief we have to take action, we can’t just acquiesce as we have been taught to do.”
A win for Katz would be a big step forward towards a culture of self-defense.
Just keep the nosy pediatricians out of the way.
The Second Amendment Foundation supports Ms. Katz:
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“This is a case where the issue seems crystal clear,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “Here is a woman who has taken all the proper, legal steps
for her own safety, and quite possibly the safety of her students and fellow teachers. Oregon’s pre-emption law appears to be on her side, and so are we.
“Today, I am sending a check to Lake Oswego attorney James Leuenberger, who is representing the teacher,” Gottlieb stated. “We believe this case to
have lots of merit, not only for the individual rights of the plaintiff, but also for the rights of all Oregon firearms owners, and especially other
women who may find themselves in a similar unpleasant situation.”
A hearing on the case is scheduled on Thursday, Oct. 11 in Jackson County Court.
“We are confident that the court will make a decision based on the clear wording of the Oregon statute, rather than on political correctness,” Gottlieb said. “There is no good reason why a school district can simply ignore state law, much less the safety of one of its employees.”
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