JACKSON, Mississippi: Amidst a series of mass shootings in the US, Mississippi education officials clarified that state school districts are on their way to being able to make their own rules with a license to move armed people onto school property. are on.
Following the killings at Uvalde’s Rob Elementary School, a Fourth of July parade near Chicago, and the Indiana Mall, the Mississippi Board of Education voted Thursday to update a 1990 internal policy that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement from appearing in public. Carrying of guns in school premises was banned.
Thursday’s move removed language from a 1990 policy, which the department said conflicted with Mississippi’s 2011 increased concealed carry law. The department also argued that the old policy preceded “any notable”. school shootingThe board has adopted this update as a temporary rule. It is now for a public comment period of 25 days. The board is expected to review the feedback at its September meeting.
“A school district may, at its discretion, restrict or allow its employees, who have a license to carry weapons, to carry weapons in the school,” said Gene Cook, communications director for the Mississippi Department of Education.
The Board will reconsider the policy after the public comment period and may vote to make the policy permanent. Alternatively, if the Board considers significant changes to the policy, a revised version will be issued for another public comment period.
A 2011 law allows individuals with an enhanced carry license to carry guns on public school campuses. Advanced licenses require training and allow gun owners to take them in many places those with basic permits cannot.
At the board meeting, Education Department general counsel Erin Meyer said state law “gives local school districts the authority and discretion to set their own weapons policies”. School districts can decide for themselves whether employees who have enhanced licenses can bring guns onto school property.
School districts must also adopt policies that apply to nonemployees. A 2013 state attorney general opinion argued that teachers or administrators may refuse to meet armed people in a “non-public” school area. Mississippi K-12 schools are closed to the public, but a school concert, sport or sporting event is open to the public, Cook said.
Patricia Ice, a volunteer for the Mississippi chapter of Moms Demand Action, a gun reform organization, urged school districts to adopt policies that limit limits. firearms on campus,
“Allowing teachers and members of the public to carry guns in our K-12 schools is a dangerous idea that would further jeopardize the safety of students and staff,” Ice said. “We need adults in the room to make evidence-based policy decisions that will actually keep our kids safe, rather than making decisions that will put more guns in their classrooms and put our kids at risk.”
Eric Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, said the group fully supports policies to allow aspiring teachers, administrators and support staff to remain concealed. Weapons on school campuses,
Pratt said, “They will not only serve as a solid deterrent against what they consider to be acts of evil, but if someone tries to attack the school, these policies can be used to neutralize the threat and save lives.” will help to minimize any loss of
At an Indiana mall in July, a bystander shot and killed a man, killing three people and injuring two others. But in the US it is rare for an active shooter to be stopped like this. From 2000 to 2021, less than 3% of 433 active attacks in the US ended with a civilian shooting, according to the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University.
School districts are still required to have a policy regulating firearms on campus, but they have the authority to determine what is included in these policies. Possessing a gun on school property without an enhanced concealed carry license is a felony under Mississippi law.
Research by Everytown, another gun improvement organization, found that Mississippi is one of seven states that allow permit holders to carry guns in schools,
The state’s education department moved on Thursday to adopt the new language, but conflicts arose with state law based on a law passed a decade ago. When asked about the timing of Thursday’s vote, Cook said the policy update is “part of an ongoing review of the state board’s policies to ensure that all are up to date and in compliance with current law. The last six Around 30 policies have been updated in months.”
Mississippi’s public schools have the right to use the money to train employees to use guns. Mo Kennedy, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, said the policy raises questions about whether teachers can be trained to use firearms to protect students.
“I don’t know that we can find time in the teachers’ program to train them to that level, both physically and mentally,” Kennedy said.