MP-Pistol Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just read this in my Sunday morning paper and thought I would share it. This should be an interesting case to watch.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Teacher's situation brings gun issue to fore

By BOB ALBRECHT

Mail Tribune

September 09, 2007



MEDFORD — A high school teacher wanting to carry a gun on campus is fueling a challenge against a Medford School District policy that prohibits possession of a weapon on school grounds.



Portland-based lawyer Jim Leuenberger, with backing from the Oregon Firearms Federation, said in an e-mail sent Friday to the Mail Tribune that he intends to ask a Jackson County Circuit Court judge to declare the policy "illegal and void" for holders of concealed handgun licences.



"There is a state statute that prohibits local governments — including school boards — from restricting possession of firearms by concealed firearm permit holders," Leuenberger said. "The state statute says any such local restrictions are void."



Leuenberger identified the woman only as a high school teacher and said he will file the complaint using "Jane Doe" as the plaintiff.



The issue arose when rumors swirled that a Medford teacher was carrying a weapon on campus. School officials approached the teacher and she denied the accusation, said schools attorney Tim Gerking.



The district declined to name the teacher because of personnel privacy laws.



The teacher was reminded of district policy and asked not to carry the firearm and she said she would comply, Gerking said. The teacher then contacted the firearms federation and Leuenberger.



It is not clear whether the teacher ever brought a weapon onto school grounds.



Her attorney said she has divorced her husband and obtained a restraining order against him.



"Notwithstanding the restraining order," Leuenberger wrote, "she has reason to believe he visited her home when she was absent."



When contacted by the Mail Tribune, the teacher asked to remain anonymous because she feared for her and her daughter's safety.



School district officials said they believe they have the right to regulate the possession of a weapon by an employee and will fight the issue in court.



"It's our responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for our students and a safe working environment for our employees," Gerking said. "We feel that would not be fostered by allowing folks, whether they have the authority or not, to bring weapons onto campus, in particular firearms — loaded firearms. We believe that's a recipe for potential disaster."



Superintendent Phil Long said he did not think the teacher has brought her firearm onto school grounds since she was confronted by district officials.



"To our knowledge we don't have any employees bringing weapons on our campus," Long said.



Following the shootings at Virginia Tech, in addition to shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and Thurston High School in Springfield, a desire among teachers to carry guns has risen. A university in Utah challenged a law that allows concealed weapons on public property and lost, thereby permitting guns on campus.



In 2006, many teachers in the Utah Education Association took classes to learn how to use a gun and eventually, to obtain a concealed weapons permit.



Earlier this year, South Carolina's legislature defeated a bill that would have allowed permit holders to carry guns onto public school campuses.



"It's kind of developing into a nationwide problem and we're just kind of getting a taste of it," Gerking said.



Both state and federal laws prohibit carrying a firearm on campus, according to Gerking. However, the laws come with exemptions, including one for holders of a concealed handgun license.



"It's a loophole kind of a thing really," said School Board Chairman Mike Moran, a retired lieutenant with the Medford Police Department. "If they have a concealed weapons permit it seems to grant a privilege that I don't think the Legislature intended."



Moran said he also had concerns the firearm could fall into the hands of a student.



"Even if it's a totally legitimate person with a legitimate permit — can you adequately guarantee that it will not fall into the hands of a student?" Moran asked. "You can't."



Long said he worried about what would happen if a crisis broke out on campus, and someone other than law enforcement officers was in possession of a gun.



Crisis plans worked out with local law enforcement agencies are "predicated on the idea that if there's someone on our campus and they have a weapon, they're not supposed to be there," Long said. "The law enforcement people would act appropriately."



Leuenberger, on behalf of his client, said he brought the state statute — ORS 166.170 — that will be the basis of his filing to the school board's attention.



"So far the district has decided not to obey the state statute," Leuenberger said.



The Oregon Firearms Federation has been fighting with the state and its school districts since 2001, when it lobbied against Senate Bill 508. The bill would have given school districts the authority to regulate firearms, even if the gun owner has a permit.



Another legislative attempt to keep guns out of schools surfaced in 2005.



"The bill never got out of committee and died the ignominious death it so richly deserved," the firearms federation said in an editorial on its Web site.



Later that same year, the gun lobbyists battled with Portland schools, which had posted signs to discourage possession of all weapons.



"ALL weapons are Prohibited on Portland Public School Property," said a sign posted at Chief Joseph Elementary School. "This includes weapons carried under a Concealed Weapons Permit."



The firearms federation said Portland schools continue violating state law, but assured permit holders that it is legally acceptable to carry a weapon on school grounds.



"Rest assured, no matter what signs are posted in any public school in Oregon, no matter what lies are told to you by bureaucrats gorging themselves at the public trough, if you are a valid CHL holder you are completely within your rights to carry your defensive firearm on the grounds of any Oregon Public School," the federation wrote.



Kevin Starrett, federation executive director, said he's been looking for a case like the one involving the Medford schoolteacher so he could challenge schools' prohibition of firearms.



"We were approached by the individual because she had been threatened by the school district," Starrett said. "It was just a perfect opportunity for us to get some judicial resolution to this."



Starrett argues that armed teachers could prevent incidents like the ones at Virginia Tech and Thurston from occurring.



"I worry about people being gunned down like dogs because they've been denied the right to have their self-defense firearm," Starrett said. "I can think of four or five incidents where armed civilians stopped school shootings."



Moran said that just because someone receives a concealed weapons permit doesn't mean he is fit to carry a gun.



"You can be an undiagnosed psychotic or you could be a criminal, a serial killer even, who just hasn't been caught and you can come onto our property with a concealed weapon and we can't do much about it," Moran said.



"A concealed weapons permit is very easily obtained," added Gerking. "It's cheap and you don't have to show much. All you have to do is show that you've got the money to pay for it and you're not a felon."



Moran said he hoped the three-month legislative session that is set to begin in January could bring some resolution to this issue.



"This is as critical as any other issue the Legislature could address," Moran said, adding the district has contacted local lawmakers. "It's something they could address quickly and close that loophole so schools could be safer."



It is not clear whether state law allows public schools to prohibit its employees from possessing a firearm on campus, Long said.



"It is ironic, that if we were a private school we could regulate anyone coming on our campus with a concealed weapon," Long said. "If we were a private business we could regulate people coming on our property with a concealed weapon.



"But where we have our most vulnerable and valuable treasures, in our public schools, there is not a willingness as this point, or clear direction from our Legislature, valuing the security of our children."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
660 Posts
I could only wish I could carry at my college up here in Connecticut. People say that it would be too easy to get upset at a fellow student or teacher and in a rage shoot them. To this I say that your average person becomes more frequently enraged just driving down the streets and highways. I haven't heard of many CHL holders chasing people down waving guns around inside their cars. When will the sheeple learn that so many countries restrict rights...why should we become one of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
I dont want to sound like I am beating a dead horse with the same old arguments, but seriously.



rondo said:
"You can be an undiagnosed psychotic or you could be a criminal, a serial killer even, who just hasn't been caught and you can come onto our property with a concealed weapon and we can't do much about it," Moran said.


Isnt this the basic argument for allowing legal concealed carry? Any idiot can carry a weapon illegaly onto a campus with evil intent, but the law abiding citizens who go out and get a background check, take the classes and complete the paperwork, and could possibly stop a tragedy from occuring are the ones prohibited.



"It is ironic, that if we were a private school we could regulate anyone coming on our campus with a concealed weapon," Long said. "If we were a private business we could regulate people coming on our property with a concealed weapon.


Again, the only ones who would comply are not the ones to worry about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
A criminal will not obey the law. Thats why he's a criminal. Those of us who legally carry shouldn't be restricted. Laws are made for those who obey them not the ones who don't. How many more school shootings is it going to take?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
My wife is a teacher for 6-8. She's just started her second year. So far, she has had two bomb threats and a kid/man with a shotgun walk the halls with no incident. I carry 24/7. I'm carrying right now. I just got back from a family birthday party. I carried then. No one knows (except the whole internet world now).



Wouldn't it be wonderful if they changed the laws so we could legally carry in schools. Wouldn't it have been even more wonderful if they hadn't taken our rights away from us to begin with?



I often visit my wife at her school. She's happy to see me. Take care of your own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
In addition to allowing responsible, licensed citizens to carry in school, there ought to be classes on safe firearms handling taught at an early age. Maybe you avert one of those tragedies resulting from kids playing with what they think is a toy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Oregon Teacher Steps Forward

Update:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Wednesday, October 3, 2007



Oregon teacher suing to carry gun in class reveals identity

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon teacher suing to assert a right to carry a gun at school has made her name public.



She is Shirley Katz, 43, a teacher for 21 years, the last seven in Medford. She teaches English at South Medford High School.



She went public in interviews beginning Tuesday with Lars Larson on his talk radio show.



Katz says she fears her former husband. They were divorced last year, and she has had two restraining orders against him, the last of which expired in September. She said she missed a deadline to renew it.



Gerry Katz, 54, a photographer, told the Medford Mail Tribune that he's no threat and said his former wife has made unfounded accusations as part of her effort to limit his visitation with their 5-year-old daughter.



Shirley Katz has custody, and Gerry Katz has weekly visitation rights under the divorce decree, which required him to complete an anger management class, the Mail Tribune reported.



On Sept. 26, a judge denied her bid to limit visitation rights and his request for full custody, the paper said.



Gerry Katz also has a concealed weapon permit, but his gun was seized after he waved the weapon at another driver and was charged with disorderly conduct, the paper said.



Shirley Katz filed her suit under the pseudonym Jane Doe. She said she went public after the school district filed a motion to dismiss the case based in part on her anonymity.



"I am definitely under the microscope," she said. "I had sought to avoid that (by remaining anonymous). My son goes to school here. My daughter is in the school system."



Katz filed the lawsuit Sept. 18. Oral arguments are scheduled for Oct. 11.



The Oregon Firearms Foundation is financing her lawsuit.



Oregonians who have concealed weapon permits may carry a gun onto most public properties, including schools, without violating state law.



School districts, however, commonly bar teachers from carrying guns to classrooms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,035 Posts
I think all teachers should be required to take basic firearms training and "what if" scenario training, period! Then they should be "encouraged" to carry while at school.



The Israelies have been doing this for quite some time. It stopped the terrorists from walking into the schools and shooting/bombing people.



JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
I know this is a firearm forum but I never get why the CC deal is such a big deal to people don't own guns. If someone wants to have the responsiblity to carry in school or campus they should. Granted the reason for CC is so no one knows you are packing, so now I think this hurts the teacher cause, because everyone now knows she carrys.



It's funny, the husband says he's not a threat, but has a DO charge for waving a gun around... SURE BUDDY YOU"RE NOT CRAZY






Side-story (WI NEEDS CC).

In WI you can't carry at all, and I believe there is a few incidents where the same delivery driver was robbed, decided to carry a gun (illegally but a otherwise lawful citizen) was robbed(2nd) again this time at gun point, he non-fatally shot the robber. In the 2nd robbing the gun was taken from him but only theatened with charges. He was robbed (3rd) again, not having his gun he was beaten and mased by 3-4 people. He bought ANOTHER gun. Was robbed(4th) again this time at when the robber point the gun at his head, he non fatally shot him again and secured the robber firearm. This time (Concealed weapons)charged, but later ruled constituition by a state judge, cause he was defending himself even though he illegally carried. Prefect example if why CC works in a non-carrying state...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
I love that quote of hers in the paper.



She said during an interview "Now i'll feel weird bringing a gun onto school campus, because a concealed gun is just that. Nobody is supposed to know."



I hope you win a batch of money from the school, this whole issue has been handled poorly and without forethought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Update:

Judge won't dismiss teacher's lawsuit

Debate over whether her handgun is allowed at school will continue; judge to issue a written opnion



Mail Tribune

October 12, 2007



A judge has denied the Medford School District's motion to dismiss a South Medford High School teacher's lawsuit challenging its policy against employees carrying concealed firearms on school grounds.



After hearing oral arguments on the case Thursday, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Philip Arnold indicated he would issue a rare written opinion on whether the district's policy is legal but gave no time line for his decision.



The ruling on English teacher Shirley Katz's claim that as a permit holder, she has a right to bring her concealed handgun to school could have repercussions for school districts across the state.



Katz said she wants to carry her 9 mm Glock semiautomatic pistol to guard against an ex-husband who she claims is violent and to protect students from intruders.



Gerry Katz, a commercial photographer, has denied he has acted violently toward his ex-wife and has said he's not a threat to her nor to others at South Medford. No assault charges have been listed against him in Jackson County court records.



State law allows people with permits to carry concealed firearms into schools and other public buildings, but most school districts in the state have passed policies forbidding employees from doing so.



Jim Leuenberger, Katz's attorney, argued the school district's policy is illegal, as state law voids any local civil or criminal ordinance restricting concealed firearm possession in public buildings.



"The school district does not have any authority to regulate whatsoever ... Ms. Katz's possession of a firearm," Leuenberger said.



Medford schools attorney Tim Gerking said the district's policy is not an ordinance, as it applies only to employees and does not affect the general public's ability to carry concealed firearms.



Gerking argued the state Legislature did not intend to bar public employers from regulating employees' possession of firearms on the job. Its true intent, he said, was to prevent gun owners from being treated unfairly because of conflicting local and state laws.



He said employees' possession of firearms could result in "accidents" at schools and in liability for the school district.



Shirley Katz sought guidance from Judge Arnold Thursday about whether she may carry her handgun to work while he considers her case.



Arnold said her decision to carry her gun on campus would not affect the outcome of her case.



It was unclear, however, whether the district may discipline her should she violate the policy before the judge's ruling. In papers filed with the court, the district said it would call police to search her if it had reason to believe she was armed.



Wearing a black suit, Katz would not say Thursday whether she plans to take her handgun to school before the judge's decision.



But she did say that it's "naive" to believe others aren't carrying guns on school campuses, and she's confident she'll win her case.



"Mr. Leuenberger did a wonderful job," she said. "I'm very pleased."



Arnold's opinion will be published on the court's Web site, www.ojd.state.or.us/jac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Follow-Up:

Teacher can't carry gun on campus

Judge sides with school district on employee policy of no guns on campus



By Paris Achen

Mail Tribune

November 10, 2007



An English teacher who fought to carry her 9 mm Glock semiautomatic pistol to South Medford High School has lost her court challenge of a school district policy prohibiting employees from taking weapons on campus.



Jackson County Circuit Court Judge G. Philip Arnold issued a written opinion Friday that the Medford School District's policy is legal under state law.



"This is breaking new ground because it's clarifying the authority so many school districts have already exercised," said Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long. "I haven't had a chance to tell my colleagues in the state about the ruling, but I think the No. 1 response will be extreme relief."



Katz said Friday she plans to appeal the decision, and the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation pledged to continue to finance her legal expenses.



"I'm shocked and extremely disappointed by his decision," Katz said.



In the high-profile case that spawned anxiety among public school officials across the state, Katz claimed the district's policy conflicted with astate law that prohibits local governments from enacting "civil or criminal ordinances" regulating or restricting firearms.



State law allows people with permits to carry concealed handguns into schools and other public buildings, but most school districts in the state have passed policies forbidding employees from doing so.



"In this case, it is clear the district's prohibition on weapons is contained in a school board employee policy, and is not an ordinance," Arnold wrote.



"The district policy applies to only employees and others working for the district. The policy is known to those persons in advance. They accept their jobs subject to, and knowing, the policy."



Katz said she wanted to carry her pistol to guard against an ex-husband who she claimed is violent and to protect students from intruders.



Gerry Katz, a commercial photographer, has denied he has acted violently toward his ex-wife and has said he's not a threat to her or to others at South Medford. No assault charges have been listed against him in county court records.



About 10 students have transferred out of Katz's classes since the lawsuit was filed Sept. 18. District officials recently hired a substitute teacher to instruct them.



Katz would not say whether she has taken her handgun to school, but school officials said they had no evidence to indicate she had.



The Medford district and other districts around the state have been pressing state legislators for several years to pass a law that would ban everyone except law enforcement from carrying guns on school campuses. Past attempts by lawmakers have failed.



"We have regulations and resources in place to ensure a safe working environment for employees and a safe learning environment for students," said Tim Gerking, attorney for the Medford district. "We believe, and law enforcement agrees, that keeping guns out of school buildings is an essential part of our overall policy."
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top