School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Facing Lawsuits, Pa. District Delays Policy on Arming School Employees

By The Associated Press & Tribune News Service — January 22, 2019 1 min read

A program to train and arm school employees in Tamaqua, Pa., was put on hold last week—at least until two lawsuits against the district are resolved.

The school board suspended implementation of the controversial policy that would have made the district the first in the state with armed teachers, after an uproar from some in the community and lawsuits from the teachers’ union and parents.

The policy, which aims to allow willing school employees to carry concealed weapons during the school day, was quietly passed in September. After the local newspaper reported its existence, the plan quickly drew concern and outrage from parents, teachers, and community members.

Meanwhile, a Virginia school board is suing the state after its superintendent was denied a designation allowing him to carry guns on school property—part of a plan to allow armed staffers at schools.

In July, the Lee County school board voted to arm teachers. The board wanted armed employees designated “special conservators of the peace” to exempt them from a ban on guns in schools, but the attorney general said that would violate the law.

In September, the state denied Superintendent Brian Austin’s application. The denial was upheld this month.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 23, 2019 edition of Education Week as Facing Lawsuits, Pa. District Delays Policy on Arming School Employees

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