Oregon School Board Lifts Open Carry Ban for Educators, Continues National Trend

An Oregon school district board on Oct. 24 overturned a ban imposed in March that prohibited educators and staff from carrying firearms on school grounds. The ban spurred a May recall election that resulted in two pro-ban board members being replaced by two anti-ban candidates.

The ban violated Oregon law in a region where open carry is the standard. The ban was also an odd exception in a quiet national trend. Despite efforts in the mainstream media to make it sound strange and dangerous, educators across vast swaths of the nation enjoy the unfettered personal option to carry a firearm on school grounds.

The St. Helens School District, which includes two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and three alternative schools, adopted the measure even though it violated Oregon state law, which allows anybody with a concealed license permit to carry on school grounds.

"To exclude our staff seems like they're being punished," newly-elected School Board Chairman Marshall Porter told the Oregonian. "They should have a right to protect themselves if they so choose."

In September, an Arkansas state security board voted to allow 13 school districts to continue using teachers, administrators and other staff as volunteer armed guards. State lawmakers are expected to consider a law to allow all school districts to arm employees in 2015.

There are now more than 14 states that allow educators to carry with district/school approval and at least four states -- Hawaii, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Wyoming -- where properly permitted teachers, staff and administrators can carry without district/school permission.

As reported in Outdoorlife.com on March 25 and April 5, legislation that considers arming educators has been introduced in 33 states since December's Newtown school shootings. Bills to allow public school teachers or administrators who complete a special school resource officer course to carry concealed handguns on campus have been introduced in Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Florida.

So far in 2013, six states -- South Dakota, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Arkansas -- have confirmed that public school teachers and administrators cannot be prohibited from arming themselves on campus, should they choose to do so.
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-- St. Helens School Board lifts controversial gun ban it implemented back in March