Governor Signs Bill to Prevent Arming Teachers

TAMAQUA, Pa. -- A school district in Schuylkill County has been at the center of an ongoing debate about arming teachers on school grounds, and now, a new state law details who can have guns in schools and teachers aren't on the list.

Earlier this week, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill that will prevent teachers in Pennsylvania from carrying guns. In a statement, the governor said Pennsylvania law makes clear that teachers may not be armed.

What does this mean for the Tamaqua Area School District? Last September, the school board approved the policy that would allow staff members to carry guns while on school property.

"We want to do something that is not cosmetic to make us feel good, but to make it safer," said school board president Larry Wittig last October.

But after facing lawsuits in January from the teachers union and a group of parents, the school board voted against implementing the controversial policy.

In April after a board meeting, the policy was reinstated and put back up for discussion.

When Newswatch 16 spoke with the assistant superintendent at the time, he said nothing had changed within the district and no teachers were carrying guns.

CeaseFirePA, a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to take a stand against gun violence said at the time it was appalled that the district had reinstated the policy.

After Gov. Wolf signed the bill this week, CeaseFirePA came out with another statement stating that if any school district tries to implement the policy, the Wolf administration would stop it.

Nobody was available to comment at the Tamaqua Area School District on Wednesday. We also called the school board president, but he is away for the week. There is a school board meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. but it's unclear if the gun policy will be discussed.

23 comments

  • Karl Sparn

    Like the good communist he is, Tom Wolf is taking that hard-left-turn—in his JEEP.

    Once again, allow teachers and administrators and other concealed-carry citizens to enter the buildings…armed.
    EDITORIAL: I carried concealed for more than 20 years in the Pittsburgh Public Schools where I was a teacher. Other teachers and administrators did the same. Of the 85 schools that existed then, I would “relish to say” that every building was armed in some way. I also attended “The University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning,” for ten years during that same time period; professors, myself, and fellow classmates were ‘carrying concealed’ there as well. Nobody was alarmed, concerned, troubled, or terrified by the thought or knowledge of this process. Just knowing what you knew, made the place safe, secure, and not “GUN FREE.” Giving an audience a platform on which to act-out their aggressiveness, anger, or mental instability only encourages these horrific incidents. “Concealed-Carry on Campus” and “Concealed-Carry In Schools” across the country up until 1995,* wasn’t even questioned. If you had a valid permit you were a silent-guard among the masses. We have created this environment by trying to prohibit what once was the guardians of our society. Start at 1995 and come forward…look at the results, they are staggering. —k.e.s., jr.
    *Bill Clinton’s [sic]: “1995 GUN FREE ZONE SAFE SCHOOLS ACT.”

    • not_pennysltucky (@ds18301)

      Sure. And let’s replace the Secret Service with TEACHERS to protect General Bone Spurs!!!………Once again, this was a REPUBLICAN sponsored bill, passed by the REPUBLICAN controlled PA House and Senate. I guess civics was too much for you too understand — if you went to school.

      • fortisveritas

        I was wondering how long it was going to take someone to drag our President into this. Obviously not too long when you’re as unhinged and suffering from TDS like J@DS18301 is. Different name, same vitriol and rhetoric.

      • fortisveritas

        “REPUBLICAN controlled PA House and Senate” Yet all the reps (save for two) that voted AGAINST it were Democrats. Anti-gun groups such as Cease Fire PA encouraged the Governor to veto it. Could it because the bill has language in it that actually encourages schools to have trained, armed security? Sure, it doesn’t allow teachers to be armed but the school can still have trained, armed security. So why did all those Democrats vote against it again?

      • yabbadabbadude

        That was one of the first things he did when he was elected. Not because she was ‘transgender’ but because she was “qualified”, according to him. That was an even bigger lie than campaigning on either cutting property taxes in half or getting rid of them altogether to get elected. What a prog POS.

  • yabbadabbadude

    Wolfie should just put up large portraits of his Physician General appointee, Dr. “Rachel” Levine (the hideous, ‘transgender’ FREAK) at the entrances to the schools. That should keep trouble away…

    • darkhorse6669

      And if nothing happens and everyone is safe will you give him the praise he would deserve?

  • Erik Latranyi

    CeaseFirePA loves gun violence and raises money on the dead corpses before they become cold. These organizations do not care about your children….they fully support armed security for Gov Wolf, but not for your child.

  • not_pennysltucky (@ds18301)

    To all the knee-jerk Wolf bashers who can’t bother with facts. A basic civics lesson: This bill was sent to Wolf’s Office AFTER passing the *GOP controlled* Senate and House. The bill was in fact sponsored by (Republican) Mike Regan. It actually *expands* which highly-trained personnel may carry guns in schools — it’s just teachers that are excluded. (and there are good reasons for that in light of what *actually* happens in these situations and not the Hollywood/Clint Eastwood fantasy you love to fantasize about — look at the three cops at Parkland who were too scared to engage). SMH…

    • yabbadabbadude

      They weren’t cops at Parkland. They were sheriff’s deputies. In other words political appointees, some with limited or even no prior policing experience, and yes, you guessed it, democrats. They’re useless at whatever they attempt to do.

    • Lisa Marshinski

      And if you look at schools that have been allowing teachers to carry for yrs now, there have been NO shootings by wack jobs, NO insurance hikes on the schools and NO accidental shootings of innocent bystanders. It’s called training, and lots of it.

  • Lisa Marshinski

    Hmm, I just read a story with a different twist to this. Check out FOAC – pac . org in the general news section.

  • Lisa Marshinski

    I agree w/Jack. . this gov’na and all the other scum politicians have nothing to worry about because they AND their family are always protected with guns and I’m sure the majority of them have walls/fences around their property. What I want to know is. . . what are they planning to do to us that they are so eager to disarm us first? These ignorant, Bloomburg paid for groups like CeaseFirePA should be surrounding all schools, every day, to make sure no one gets in to kill our kids in their sitting duck zones (thanks Joe Biden for passing that). Wolf needs to be impeached.

  • Robert OMalley

    AND IF SOMETHING HAPPENS, IT’S ON THE TEACHERS UNION, THE GROUP OF PARENTS AND THE HORSE’S A– GOVERNOR.

  • Jack Irvin

    Typical scumbag liberal refuses to allow us to protect our children in schools yet he is protected by guns wherever he goes, he is just another Hitler

Comments are closed.

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