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Guns on School Grounds Continues to be Hot Topic

The Council Rock School Board is at odds regarding an amendment to district policy that would restrict guns at the Chancellor Center.

The Council Rock School Board continues to be at odds about the issue of guns and their appropriateness on district-owned property. The topic again dominated the Council Rock School Board meeting, the latest of which was Thursday.

The discussion was a continuation from the last board meeting, in which some board members strongly urged clarifying district policy to restrict guns at the Chancellor Center. 

In the end, the board decided not to take action to amend district policy because of the possibility of infringing on the public’s second amendment right to bear arms.

State law already prohibits guns at district schools. However, some board members said they felt it should be clear that firearms are also not permitted at the Chancellor Center, a district-owned property where the board meetings are held. 

Superintendent Mark Klein, who is also an attorney, said while he respects and understands the law, “it would be my preference not to have guns on any school grounds.”

At a board meeting earlier this month, member Bernadette Heenan said she “felt unsafe” at the meetings due to the prospect that someone may possess a weapon. She asked that the board meetings be transferred to a school building so as to ensure no firearms would be present, a request she reiterated Thursday.

Board member Wendi Thomas said she feels safe at board meetings and questioned the amount of time and attention the subject matter was receiving.  She said the state law as it stands is clear. “This building is an administrative building and should be subject to the rules.”

Solicitor Robert Cox said adding further language to restrict guns at the Chancellor Center may “create a greater exposure to the district” and subject it to a legal challenge. However, he noted, generally a legal challenge would come after someone is arrested. “The mere fact you are passing this in most cases wouldn’t be enough to challenge,” Cox said.

Board member Paul Anagnostakos said he was against pursuing the issue any further. “You’re getting a big fat no from me,” he said, adding that the measure was redundant. 

Board president Kyle McKessy asked Cox to review the comments provided at Thursday's meeting and present the board with his advice at the next meeting.

John F October 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Mr Mossberg, I am embarassed to have you as a public figure in my community. This is not Tombstone. Why does anyone possibly need to carrry a deadly concealed weapon at a school board meeting? What example does this set for our children? or anyone else? If you are concerned for your own safety perhaps you should 1. resign or 2. ask our police to be present to protect you and the public from the roomful of concerned citizens.
Ed October 20, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Mr. Mossberg ... I don't believe you're a public figure, but our constitution says we are all free and all equal. To me a gun changes the balance of power. "board member who has been carrying for years" ... How do you know? One, I participate and am aware of what's on the table in the public eye and some of the dealings behind the curtain. I don't just sheep - I ask for myself. Two - read the past articles in the Courier and Advance. Most of all - WATCH THE MEETING. This article is misleading not telling the whole story that would have clearly shown HOW we all know. Watch the confrontation between the 2 board members. Where is it mentioned in this article the words "common courtesy" being asked at the meeting for other board members, the public, and the children of this school district? "If true, it has never caused a problem before" Are you serious? Are we playing "Russian Roulette"? Who knows "if"? Other locals in government say for any representative to be carrying is his "intimidating" and "irresponsible". If someone is that insecure, hire a cop with no skin in the game so we all can feel safe. "What are the other parts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights do you take issue with?" How about my right to free speech without repercussions when speaking about MY tax dollars and MY child's education and my girl's welfare? How about the oath of office to SERVE the public and represent them first and foremost? How are you serving me if you are arming against me?
the REAL VOICE October 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM
I think the board should get on With some REAL Business and leave the laws Alone.You are supposed to be School Board Members, not State or County Reps or Senators ! If you want to be one, get off the board and run for a lawmakers office, instead of your little school district Job that you can't handle !
Ed October 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Leave the laws alone? So you believe a representative OF the people elected to serve ALL the people even those they oppose in a public meeting SHOULD be allowed to carry? What does that gun mean in comparison to MY or anyone's VOICE. As for your "your little school district job that you can't handle" ... Have you been to school board meetings? Before pointing fingers you MIGHT want to understand what they do (right or wrong) and all they have to deal with for NO PAY. They do FAR more then education - they are responsible for the biggest part of your tax bill - they are land owners - they have to spend so much time on building upkeep - they have to deal with state unfunded mandates - they have to deal with (I believe) 5 different townships - they have to deal with the safety of all the children - and they have SO much else to do.
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