School Teacher suing to carry at school -- Portland, OR

School Teacher suing to carry at school -- Portland, OR

This is a discussion on School Teacher suing to carry at school -- Portland, OR within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A school teacher in the public school system in Medford, Oregon, has been fighting to exercise her Oregon Constitutional right to carry a licensed firearm ...

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Thread: School Teacher suing to carry at school -- Portland, OR

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    School Teacher suing to carry at school -- Portland, OR

    A school teacher in the public school system in Medford, Oregon, has been fighting to exercise her Oregon Constitutional right to carry a licensed firearm and to knock down the school's policies denying anyone to do so. Begun as a "Jane Doe" lawsuit, she has now gone public. The bill for the legal representation is being taken up by the Oregon Firearms Federation, a lobby group.

    Basics:
    • The state constitution of Oregon confirms the right of all Oregon citizens to keep and bear arms in their own defense.
    • The state's preemption clause denies the ability of any city, county or state entity other than the state legislature to pass any restrictions on the ownership, possession or use of firearms contrary to state law.
    • Oregon is a "shall-issue" state and she's licensed to carry a firearm.
    • The school district's policy is, essentially: bring a gun ... lose a career.



    Article from The Portland Oregonian, October 3, 2007:

    Teacher goes public in fight to pack pistol
    Guns - Shirley Katz may not be alone; 25 teachers in Multnomah County hold concealed weapon permits

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    PETER SLEETH

    The Oregonian Staff

    Jane Doe -- the Oregon schoolteacher who wants to carry a concealed pistol to class -- went public Tuesday with her identity in an attempt to keep her lawsuit against the Medford School District alive.

    Shirley M. Katz, 44, teaches English at South Medford High School. At a slight 5 feet 7 inches tall, Katz says she still fears a former spouse and wants to assert what she believes is her right to carry a weapon on school grounds.

    She originally filed the lawsuit as Jane Doe to protect her privacy. When the school district filed a motion to dismiss the case based in part on her anonymity, she changed her mind.

    "I am definitely under the microscope," she said. "I had sought to avoid that (by remaining anonymous). My son goes to school here. My daughter is in the school system."

    The lawsuit has set off alarms for school leaders statewide who are worried they will have to allow teachers with concealed handguns into schools if Katz prevails. Opposition comes from the state superintendent of public instruction to fellow teachers, while others in the state support Katz's right to carry a gun at school.

    The possibility of more teachers carrying concealed handguns is real. The Oregonian found that at least 25 teachers out of about 6,700 working in Multnomah County -- the state's most populous -- have concealed handgun permits. While it is impossible to tell how many teachers actually pack pistols to class, most people who get the permits intend to use them on specific occasions, law enforcement experts say.

    "It is a very small minority that use it so they can go armed 24 hours a day," said Lt. John Black of the Washington County Sheriff's Office. "It's more that people use them when they feel a threat."

    Katz filed the lawsuit Sept. 18. Oral arguments are scheduled for Oct. 11 in Jackson County Circuit Court in Medford.

    Her legal bills in the case are being paid by the Oregon Firearms Foundation, a pro-gun rights group. Although Katz is a member of the National Rifle Association, she said she is not acting on the NRA's behalf or receiving any money from the group.

    Katz has been teaching for 21 years, the past seven in Medford, she said. Divorced last year, she has had two restraining orders against her former spouse, but the last one expired in September.

    Her ex-husband, Gerry Katz, said Tuesday he is not a threat to his former wife. He said he once had worked as a substitute teacher in the Medford district, but now concentrated on his career as a professional photographer.

    "I deny any accusations she has made, and I plan to prove it if it continues to be an issue," he said Tuesday. "I called the principal at the high school and told him there was no chance of there being any kind of violence."

    The case is being closely watched. The Oregon School Boards Association plans to have an attorney present on Oct. 11 to listen in, said Dori Brattain, director of legal services for the association. While the group generally favors local control on this issue, she said, this case could have statewide repercussions.

    "If we have a ruling come down that says Medford cannot ban their staff from carrying weapons, school boards will have to look at it," she said.

    If Katz wins in court, her victory would apply only in Jackson County. The ruling would have to be appealed, then upheld by a state appellate court, for it to apply statewide, said James Leuenberger, Katz's attorney.

    Concealed weapon permits are issued by the county sheriff in Oregon. Under state law, you can apply for and receive a concealed gun permit if you are a U.S. citizen, at least 21 and complete a gun safety course. Felons or people with misdemeanor convictions within the prior four years are not eligible.

    A permit holder may carry a gun onto most public properties, including schools, without violating state law.

    Private firms can ban handguns in the workplace. Although most -- if not all -- school districts ban teachers from bringing handguns to class, Katz is asserting in her lawsuit that the bans are in violation of state law.

    Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo said she has testified in the Legislature in favor of a state law that would ban teachers from carrying guns at school, but without success. She said the pro-gun rights lobby consistently opposes such legislation.

    "I don't see any reason to take a gun into any of our schools," Castillo said. "Prohibitions exist. The Rose Garden and the Memorial Coliseum have bans. . . . Why would we have a lower standard of safety for our schoolchildren than the Trail Blazers?"

    The question is not academic.

    The Oregonian's review of concealed handgun permits issued in Multnomah County showed that permit holders include administrators as well as classroom instructors.

    Efforts to contact the 25 teachers -- about 40 percent of them women -- met with almost total silence.

    One teacher with a permit returned an e-mail stating, "I want to stay as far away from (public discussion of the issue) as possible."

    Approximately 12,000 people in Multnomah County have valid permits, county records show.

    The Oregonian obtained a public database of Multnomah County permit holders from the sheriff. The newspaper then compared that list with a list of licensed teachers working in Multnomah County.

    The list included 53 possible teachers with gun permits. The Oregonian could not confirm that all of the teachers were permit holders and reduced the number to 25. Either telephone calls or e-mails were sent to all of the teachers.

    Of the 25 confirmed permit holders, 11 were women, five were elementary school teachers and three were administrators. All declined comment.

    Staff writer Steve Suo of The Oregonian contributed to this report. Peter Sleeth: 503-294-4119; petersleeth@news.oregonian.com
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.


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    VIP Member Array stormbringerr's Avatar
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    Article from The Portland Oregonian, October 23, 2007:
    why was it so easy for the newspaper to find the identity of the hand gun permit holders?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
    ― Thomas Paine

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormbringerr View Post
    why was it so easy for the newspaper to find the identity of the hand gun permit holders?
    Because that info is not locked up for use by only law enforcement. It's considered part of the public record, and only the good form of the newsies has, so far, kept it from being published.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Because that info is not locked up for use by only law enforcement. It's considered part of the public record, and only the good form of the newsies has, so far, kept it from being published.
    Being the liberal, left wing (I know, that's redundant) rag that the Oregonian is, I'm really surprised that they haven't published the names of permit holders.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    Good for the teacher...I wish her much success in her fight.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    Being the liberal, left wing (I know, that's redundant) rag that the Oregonian is, I'm really surprised that they haven't published the names of permit holders.
    Many of us here are surprised, and some are afraid that it is only a matter of time. Unfortunately, it is easier to get that information locked up from unwanted eyes after a news media outlet does the damage by publishing a list.


    As far as the original topic, yep there are a lot of us here watching this one closely. The final decisions will eventually have statewide reprrecusions.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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    VIP Member Array PatrioticRick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfl View Post
    Good for the teacher...I wish her much success in her fight.
    Let hope it goes all the way.
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    I certainly hope she prevails, but I'm not holding my breath....

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    I certainly hope she prevails, but I'm not holding my breath....
    My own take is fairly straightforward. It's simple. The Oregon state constitution acknowledges the right. The laws and preemption deny the ability of a city/county/state organization to deny that right. The school district, since it is not a private entity, is in direct and unabashed violation of those restrictions against such abuse of power, holding over the heads of its faculty and staff illegal threats of termination. Any valid judgment must, almost by definition, favor the plaintiffs and kick the school board's gumption right in its teeth. Any other result means one or more folks have been illegally allowed to abuse the state constitution and/or its laws.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    My own take is fairly straightforward. It's simple. The Oregon state constitution acknowledges the right. The laws and preemption deny the ability of a city/county/state organization to deny that right. The school district, since it is not a private entity, is in direct and unabashed violation of those restrictions against such abuse of power, holding over the heads of its faculty and staff illegal threats of termination. Any valid judgment must, almost by definition, favor the plaintiffs and kick the school board's gumption right in its teeth. Any other result means one or more folks have been illegally allowed to abuse the state constitution and/or its laws.
    I certainly agree with you...but I have been in education too long, and have seen too much deference paid by courts to "established educational practice," to be certain of the outcome until the courts have promulgated it. I hope and pray for her sake, and for a lot of others', that you are correct.

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    Good for the teacher!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

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    Member Array Randal16-1's Avatar
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    Wish we had more teacher like that. Wishing them the best.

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    I hope she wins AND has a large show of support with her at court. With the large number of permit holders of that county, maybe, just maybe she will get the favorable ruling to allow her to defend herself as she should be able to.

    How about a pro carry schoolboard....now wouldn't that be sweet???

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    Member Array alyehoud's Avatar
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    This article made it to the front page of my university's [generally liberal] newspaper today!

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    Good for her. Does anyone know of a link to donate to her legal funds? I'm sure she's going to need it.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

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