PA bill to arm teachers raises doubts in pro-gun community
By Christen Smith
A proposal to arm teachers winding its way through the Pennsylvania legislature this year raises some doubt in the pro-gun community about its failure to protect the privacy of school staff who choose to carry while working.
The concern stems from vague language contained within Senate Bill 383, a bill codifying requirements for school districts to meet when drafting policies allowing teachers and staff to carry on school grounds. One of the provisions mandates districts provide law enforcement with a list of names identifying armed staff members at each school.
There’s no directives on how to protect that information, however, before, during or after its disclosure — and that’s a big problem for gun rights attorney Joshua Prince, of Prince Law Offices in southeastern Pennsylvania, an hour east of Philadelphia.
“I fully support having armed school personnel in our schools,” he said in an April blog post. “However, this bill suffers from many issues that appear to have never been considered.”
Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts spread across more than 2,500 municipalities, two-thirds of which rely on state police coverage. Some rural school districts encompass hundreds of square miles, leading to delayed response times, according to bill sponsor Republican Sen. Don White.
“There are thousands of