Educators come out against “Carry On Campus” gun bill

February 25, 2016

ATLANTA -- “The Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) believes that it is the responsibility of every educator and school employee to help provide a school atmosphere free from harassment, threats, intimidation, name-calling, or taunting for any reason,” said GAE President Dr. Sid Chapman speaking out against HB 859 dubbed the ‘Carry On Campus’ bill which has passed the House and is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee. “This includes that all school facilities and surrounding property must be weapons-free zones with appropriate penalties and consequences for violating school safety laws. While we realize the 1,000 foot buffer zone was recently eliminated from the law, we encourage lawmakers to reinstate buffer zones particularly around K-12 schools. “

“Just as we spoke out against a past bill giving teachers the ability to carry concealed weapons in K-12 schools, we feel similarly that passage of this bill would set a precedent at the higher ed level and could open the door to further attempts at the K-12 level,” said Chapman. “The Association also believes local boards of education and the University System of Georgia have a responsibility to provide and enforce policies to ensure an orderly atmosphere within each campus. This includes providing on-campus security the needed resources to help prevent and/or react quickly to any adverse situation that may occur, including the hiring of more police and resource officers and/or equipment as may be needed.”

“The bottom line,” said Chapman, “is that the security of school campuses should be the main focus of the security professionals and the main focus of the teachers and students should be teaching and learning, not whether or not they bring their Glock to school.”