“BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – At the April 12 Board of Education (BOE) meeting, a new policy was introduced that would give Fannin County Schools the option of having armed educators on their campuses.” Read More
I believe it’s important to draw attention to a few things within this post.
1. Dr. Gwatney’s letter mentions the state law that passed a few years ago, granting local BoE the authority to enact a policy allowing certain personnel to be armed on a voluntary basis. Here’s the breakdown of this state law, which appears to be what they used to establish the guidelines for this policy.
2. Dr. Gwatney writes in his letter the following, “This policy is to be implemented only by a select volunteer group as a deterrent and to the benefit of the entire school community. If you are uncomfortable with what this entails, you do not have to give it another thought, however, you would be remiss not to be thankful for those who do concern themselves with the security of others.”
Dr. Gwatney’s irresponsible manner of minimizing the scope and magnitude of this policy is on full display with this comment. And his attempts at spinning this to make it appear as though we should be grateful for weapons in our school because apparently, guns equal the safety we’ve all been dreaming of and have been looking for all our lives, seems straight out of an NRA ad.
3. Dr. Gwatney makes the following statement in his letter, “a firearm is–at its core–a tool” and likened its usefulness in the schools to that of a defibrillator, a tourniquet, or a fire extinguisher. Again, this is a clever attempt at spin and validation and is a complete distortion of reality. The other “tools” he mentioned are life SAVERS, not life ENDERS. And the risks associated with carrying a weapon into classrooms filled with children are profound
4. In addition to those employees appointed pursuant to this policy, the Board recognizes that other exceptions exist under O.C.G.A. §16-11-127.1. All records regarding the appointment of individual employees and the implementation of this program shall be exempt from production under the Open Records Act as specified in Georgia law.
Unless I’m reading this incorrectly, this means that all vetting and verification records, all training related (initial and follow-up) records, all weapons mishap issues caused by the volunteer that may occur on campus, etc, are unable to be reviewed and are are protected.
5. None of the Fannin County Schools have scheduled or conducted a single Active Shooter Drill, and there has yet to be a mention of this by the Board, despite three separate speakers making respectful requests at March’s meeting, that this be adopted. It appears as though they’re strictly relying on the “tool” to do all the work in the event that an active shooter struts on the campus looking to do harm. The short-sightedness of this idea is stunning. If our kids have no idea what to do in this type of scenario, what guarantee do we have that the volunteer “tool” carrier will?
I could go on. And on. And on. And if you’ve had a chance to read the FYN link AND Gwatney’s letter, I’m sure you have your own set of very valid issues and concerns.
So here’s where the rubber meets the road, gang. If you are interested in working together to at least give them a fight they’ll never forget, please let me know ASAP. I could use your help, as we’ve got lots of work to do and a short time to do it.
Thanks very much,
Susan DeMoura, Secretary
Fannin County Democratic Women