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Premium Member
1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
GRAND RAPIDS -- Should teachers

and principals be allowed to carry guns on the job?

Response to that question surprised James Ballard, executive director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, when he sent an e-mail survey to the state's high school and middle school principals.


One-third of those who responded leaned toward armed schools.

"It did surprise me it was that high," Ballard said Tuesday. "Some feel strongly they should be able to carry a concealed weapon.

"There are some, just as in any population, that feel carrying a weapon produces more safety."

Ballard conducted the unscientific survey of his nearly 2,000 association members Monday after learning about legislation pending in the state House.

State Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville, introduced the legislation this month, saying guns could avert repeats of massacres such as at Columbine High School in Colorado and Virginia Tech. He was supported by 15 Republican representatives.

The bill would let teachers, administrators or other school employees carry concealed weapons on school grounds if they have a state permit and permission from their school.

The school could require special weapons training.

Agema said his office was flooded with calls, many negative, about the bill. But two-thirds of the 20 or 30 e-mails he got were in favor, he said.

"I got an e-mail from a teacher, 110 pounds, who said, it really bothers me I can carry a weapon to protect myself but I can't protect the children in my classroom,'" Agema said.

Agema said he considers the bill "disaster-preparedness." Instead of teachers carrying concealed guns, he envisions a few, hand-picked and trained teachers with access to guns in locked safes.

The legislation was quickly criticized by local school administrators, including Grand Rapids Superintendent Bernard Taylor and school security chiefs, who said armed teachers and principals would make schools more dangerous.

Michigan Education Association Director Doug Pratt said he was "appalled that a bill like this would even come up."

The MEA, which represents 160,000 public school employees, has "always stood for weapons-free schools to keep our students safe," he said.

Ballard said his e-mail surveys usually get 50 responses, sometimes as many as 150. This time he received 300.

"This was a real high-response issue," he said.

About two-thirds of principals were opposed, while 17 percent favored it and another 17 percent were in favor with restrictions, he said.

"Clearly, the majority were opposed to it," he said.

Ballard said he doesn't know whether principals from the Grand Rapids area were among those in favor, since the survey was anonymous.

A handful of principals who want to carry guns in school have talked to him about the issue, but they were from the east side of Michigan, he said.

The survey might prompt the association's board of directors to take a formal position on the question, he said.

Ballard, a former principal from the Thumb area, wouldn't say how he feels.

"I personally don't carry a gun," he said.

Harley Dude
14,651 Posts
I am in favor provided the teachers and administrators are fully trained in the use of firearms. Plus they must be keep them on their person, not in a purse or other unlocked location.

I do know that this is a very sensitive issue with most parents and teachers. So my proposal would be to require selected teachers & administrators go through a required police training program to satisfy parents, teachers and administrators that they were qualified to handle most situations in the schools without endangering innocent students.

The other choice is the high cost of having trained security on all campuses across the nation. Otherwise the lawsuits are going to cost all of us an arm and a leg every time a school shooting takes place and someone is killed.

Harley Dude
14,651 Posts
spanielsells said:
Last year I wrote about this very subject in my blog. ... 40754.aspx

Good job! I remember reading that before when you put it up on GB some time ago! Nice article, you are well spoken and get your point across in a very logical manner.

If more of us would sit down and take the time to write a short letter to our newspapers It might help to temper the anit-gun attitudes in the media somewhat. :)

658 Posts
When I went to high school I saw a number of teachers attacked my students for little reason other than the fact that they could do it. They put a few in the hospital.
With proper instruction and the permit for CCW I think it's none of the schools business.
The same applies to bus drivers. I did that job in retirement and it's not such a great way to make a living.
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