St. Helens School District lifts ban on teachers with guns - KPTV - FOX 12

St. Helens School District lifts ban on teachers with guns

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ST. HELENS, OR (KPTV) -

Teachers are now allowed to carry guns at school in St. Helens.

The St. Helens School District School Board voted Wednesday to lift a ban on staff members carrying guns on school property.

The board banned teachers, as well as volunteers and other staff members, from bringing firearms to school in March.

Wednesday's 4-1 vote reversed that ruling.

The three board members who originally voted for the ban in March either lost their re-election bids or decided not to seek re-election. Once the new board members were in place, board member Ray Biggs wanted to see if he could get the ban lifted.

Biggs told FOX 12 what concerns him are school tragedies like what happened at Sandy Hook or Monday's shooting at a Nevada middle school that left a teacher dead.

"It's a pretty much easy slam dunk vote for me," Biggs said. "I took an oath of office to uphold the constitution. The constitution says that we can all carry weapons. We don't have to, but we can all carry weapons. So, this vote was to allow people to carry weapons."

The issue generated hundreds of comments on Fox 12's Facebook page, as well as emails into the station from parents on both sides of the issue.

"I feel that if something were to happen at school, that it's better that the teachers can arm themselves and help protect my kids," one parent wrote to Fox 12. "Words can help sometimes but most of the time they don't."

Other parents, however, expressed concern about the way the vote was handled.

"I think it was a shock to find out via news TV, other than a possible vote on it," another parent said. "We as parents have the responsibility to protect our kids, but does the school district have the right to possibly put them in harm's way?"

Any staff members carrying guns on school grounds must follow state law and have the proper permits.

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