Meadville Tribune

Breaking News

Local News

January 16, 2013

GUNS IN SCHOOLS: Local officials, educators chime in on divisive issue

(Continued)

MEADVILLE — Arm teachers?

State Rep. Greg Lucas, whose Fifth Legislative District includes a northwestern portion of Crawford County, recently announced his intention to introduce legislation that would allow teachers and other school personnel to arm themselves while at work. According to Lucas — a former public school teacher whose website lists accomplishments including instructor, coach and recruiter with the National Rifle Association as well as a Pennsylvania Game Commission hunter and trapper instructor — “this would enable them to defend our students during emergencies.”

“I think it’s a horrible idea,” said Mary Lynne Peters, a long-time music teacher recently retired from Crawford Central School District and currently in training to take over the position of All-State Festival Coordinator for Pennsylvania Music Educators Association in June. “I worry about responding to violence with violence.”

Veteran educator John Amato, a Meadville resident who taught for 22 years at Meadville and Conneaut Lake high schools, coached for just about as long and served for 28 years in the military between active duty and reserves, agreed. “I don’t think arming teachers is the solution,” he said. “The answer really is that we need to fix the families. If we can fix the families, we wouldn’t have to worry about guns in the schools.”

A lively debate

“There’s been a lively policy debate about whether having teachers carry weapons makes the school safer or creates a situation where a crazed gunman starts a shoot-out situation,” said George Joseph, attorney for Conneaut School District. “It’s a good discussion. I’m not sure if there are any easy or quick solutions, but it’s a good debate to have.”

Superintendent Charlie Heller of Crawford Central School District has already made up his mind. “The people in our building are trained to educate children,” he told the Tribune. “They’ve never had any training at all with regard to any kind of law enforcement and it’s against the law for anyone who is not already a law enforcement officer to bring a weapon onto school property.”

Superintendent Connie Youngblood has already scheduled a meeting to discuss the issue directly with Lucas, whose district includes Cussewago Township in PENNCREST School District.

Although she’s reserving final judgment until after the meeting, “what would really help our schools would be money targeted to provide additional training in the schools,” Youngblood said. “Training teachers and staff, taking a look at our entrances — maybe retrofitting them to be more secure. If more money was available for steps like that, it might have more of an impact than arming teachers in the schools.”

During an interview with the Tribune following his initial announcement, Lucas acknowledged that “police or professional security personnel would be a better idea, but may not be a school district’s top priority in a time of budget cuts.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Well inspectors trying to keep up during boom time

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 27, 2014

  • cycle Young stunt cyclist to bring show to 'Thunder'

    V-v-v-v-eroom! is the high-pitched whine from the Honda CBR 600 sport motorcycle as Steven Pilic rolls back the throttle and speeds down the asphalt. In one quick, smooth motion — just like you put one foot in front of the other — he shifts his weight forward on the handlebars, jumps from the bike’s foot pegs, lands his feet on the seat and pulls the 400-plus pounds of metal up onto its back wheel, using a combination of balance, brakes, clutch and speed to circle slowly at first and then faster and faster, tighter and tighter while doing a wheelie.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tornado watch issued for Crawford County

    The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a tornado watch for Crawford County.

     

    July 27, 2014

  • SUNDAY ISSUE: 'Free-range' parenting

    The case of a woman arrested after leaving her daughter at a park while she went to work is sparking discussion across South Carolina — and even the rest of the country.

    July 26, 2014

  • pymatuning History majors rule at Pioneer & Art Festival

    Those looking for living history exhibits at the 21st annual Pymatuning Pioneer & Art Festival weren’t disappointed Saturday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Organizers ready to stimulate Meadville with next weekend's Thunder in the City

    Started six years ago by Dave Stone, owner of Mickey’s Central Station, as an event to “increase commerce and stimulate the economy,” the annual Thunder in the City Classic Car and Motorcycle Show in Meadville has done that — and lots more.

    July 25, 2014

  • Conneautville celebrating 200 years

    Thursday was a relaxed opening day at the Conneautville Bicentennial Celebration, but things will get hopping today — literally. A frog jumping contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.

    July 25, 2014

  • PennDOT seeking outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stabbing charges dismissed against Bloomfield woman

    A Bloomfield Township woman accused of stabbing her live-in companion last month is a free woman after the alleged victim in the case didn’t appear in court Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Guys Mills boy wins national PBS Kids Writers Contest

    July 24, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks