Ore. school board votes to allow staff to pack heat at school - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Ore. school board votes to allow staff to pack heat at school

Posted:

Courtesy ABC News

A school board in St. Helens, Ore., voted to allow teachers and staff to pack heat on school grounds, an official said.

St. Helens School Board chairman Marshall Porter told ABCNews.com that the board lifted a ban that prevented school employees from carrying guns on campus with concealed weapons permits on Wednesday.

"The current law in Oregon allows for anybody to concealed carry on school grounds," he said. "To exclude our staff seems like they're being punished. They should have a right to protect themselves if they so choose."

The repeal affects the seven schools within the St. Helens School District, including two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and three alternative schools, Porter said.

Porter said he voted to repeal the gun ban to allow adults to protect children if confronted with a school shooting crisis.

"If [staff members] were faced with a horrific choice, if they had to defend themselves against a kid -- which has been the thing -- I think it would be a hard decision for them, one that they would educate themselves on," he said. "I do believe we're talking about educators, people who have the interest of the children in mind."

Porter said he did not have an opinion on whether schools would be safer if teachers carried weapons in light of recent school shootings.

"I don't believe we're safe or less safe," he said. "We had a school without this policy. We were perfectly safe."

The school board voted 4-1 to allow teachers to carry weapons with a permit on campus, Porter said.

"I have my kids in there. If there was a chance that something was to happen, and there's a chance that a teacher might be able to protect them, I'm fine with that," school board member Kellie Smith told ABC News' Portland affiliate KATU-TV.

The board did not receive input from teachers in the district as to their feelings on the repeal, Porter said. While the teachers completed a survey, it was not presented to the board members.

Since the vote, only one parent has contacted Porter about their dissatisfaction with the result, he said.

"I've had more parents email me saying that they approve of our decision than not," Porter said.

The move to repeal the weapons ban was less controversial than the vote to bring back school sports at the district's middle school, which took place at the same time, Porter said.

St. Helens School District Superintendent Mark Davalos told the South County Spotlight that while he didn't "disagree with constitutional rights," "this is a school, and our interests are what's best for the kids."

Read on ABC News

  • Police Respond To Excessive Force Allegations

    Police Respond To Excessive Force Allegations

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 12:16 AM EDT2014-09-03 04:16:58 GMT
    We are learning more about the allegations of a local mom who says police used excessive force when arresting her 16-year old son.Tuesday we got the Corpus Christi Police Department's response, they say the officers in question were patrolling the Holly and Kostoryz area on foot. They say the neighborhood has seen a spike in crime, in fact in the past two months police responded to more than 80 crime calls in that area.The officers say when they saw the 16-year old boy was walking down the st...More >>
    We are learning more about the allegations of a local mom who says police used excessive force when arresting her 16-year old son.Tuesday we got the Corpus Christi Police Department's response, they say the officers in question were patrolling the Holly and Kostoryz area on foot. They say the neighborhood has seen a spike in crime, in fact in the past two months police responded to more than 80 crime calls in that area.The officers say when they saw the 16-year old boy was walking down the st...More >>
  • Robstown Car Dealership Break-In

    Robstown Car Dealership Break-In

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 12:13 AM EDT2014-09-03 04:13:03 GMT
    The Robstown Police Department is seeking the publics help in solving a series of crimes at a local car dealership. Since the end of July, numerous thefts have been reported at the Stanley Bryan Car Dealership on Highway 77. If you have any information that could help Robstown Police give them a call at 361-387-8477 or 361-387-3531.More >>
    The Robstown Police Department is seeking the publics help in solving a series of crimes at a local car dealership. Since the end of July, numerous thefts have been reported at the Stanley Bryan Car Dealership on Highway 77. If you have any information that could help Robstown Police give them a call at 361-387-8477 or 361-387-3531.More >>
  • New Images Of Kingsville Bank Robber Released

    New Images Of Kingsville Bank Robber Released

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-09-03 04:08:48 GMT
    The Kingsville Police Department has released new images of a bank robber that hit the IBC Bank near Texas AM Kingsville last Friday. If you recognize the suspect call Kingsville Crime Stoppers at 361-592-INFO or 361-592-4636More >>
    The Kingsville Police Department has released new images of a bank robber that hit the IBC Bank near Texas AM Kingsville last Friday. If you recognize the suspect call Kingsville Crime Stoppers at 361-592-INFO or 361-592-4636More >>