Florida Teacher Fired Over Gun in Truck...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    Florida Teacher Fired Over Gun in Truck...

    Bartow teacher fired for having gun in car in school parking lot -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

    Bartow teacher fired for having gun in car in school parking lot

    February 14, 2008

    BARTOW - A central Florida teacher has been fired because he kept a handgun in his truck in the school parking lot.

    The Polk County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to fire 51-year-old Phillip Bradley. He taught truck mechanics at the Ridge Career Center in Winter Haven when the 9mm handgun was found in his truck in the school lot last spring.

    A hearing officer had recommended just a 90-day suspension, but School Board members said that would have set a bad example for students.

    Bradley said he was sorry for his students. He also said he felt as if the board was making an example of him in an election year.

    He was carrying the gun legally. He was charged with possession of a firearm on school property, but that charge was dropped in June.

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  3. #2
    Member Array centermass's Avatar
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    Right after Colombine, there was a highschool kid suspended from school for having a butter knife in his car in the school parking lot. This happened in a town just north of me. I don't think the teacher in this case should have been fired, but there has been a lot of people bringing guns to work and going on a rampage lately. Kinda hard to tell the good guys and bad guys apart now.

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    Member Array dang.45's Avatar
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    So just so I am clear on this - he was fired for doing something that was legal? I thought teachers had unions...
    "It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had a right to choose: his own." - John Galt, from Atlas Shrugged

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    Quote Originally Posted by dang.45 View Post
    So just so I am clear on this - he was fired for doing something that was legal? I thought teachers had unions...
    Most of the leaders of that union are very anti...they likely would not lift a finger to help a member in this particular situation. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

    FWIW, I am a member of that union. I am very circumspect at work.

    I also suspect that, despite its legality, the handgun's presence in his vehicle violated school board policy. One can always be fired for such violations whether legal or not.

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    Member Array 45MINK's Avatar
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    Wait A Minute How Did They Know He Had A Gun ???? What Were They Doing In His Truck ?????????

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    What is the current standing of the federal laws concerning firearms on school property?

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45MINK View Post
    Wait A Minute How Did They Know He Had A Gun ???? What Were They Doing In His Truck ?????????
    I'm wondering the _exact_ same thing.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    teacher fired

    Quote Originally Posted by 45MINK View Post
    Wait A Minute How Did They Know He Had A Gun ???? What Were They Doing In His Truck ?????????
    mythoughts exactly.some body said something they shoundn't
    have.so much for concealed is concealed.
    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
    the world coming too"

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    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    If he had a firearm in his vehicle on school property - it was NOT LEGAL.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegemu View Post
    If he had a firearm in his vehicle on school property - it was NOT LEGAL.
    Beg to differ. I can't say that I recall the federal wording, but I there is something that allows it. For example: In MI, schools are specifically prohibited places by state law, which is also very clear that it doesn't apply to parking areas.

    Also, not fired for breaking the law. I'm sure he was fired for breaking policy.
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    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    ccw in parking lots

    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    Beg to differ. I can't say that I recall the federal wording, but I there is something that allows it. For example: In MI, schools are specifically prohibited places by state law, which is also very clear that it doesn't apply to parking areas.

    Also, not fired for breaking the law. I'm sure he was fired for breaking policy.
    yep,legal in mich. parking lots that is. also thats not federal,
    but state law.(per msp website)
    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
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    Member Array Mercalf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    What is the current standing of the federal laws concerning firearms on school property?
    Prohibited. You cannot even bring your concealed on campus if you have a liscense. I recently graduated ('07) high school in Florida, and I can assure you that the NEA is VERY, VERY anti. My mom works in the school system and her magazines from the NEA come in with Hillary on the cover all the time... We all know that kids will learn better with a libby in office!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by centermass View Post
    Kinda hard to tell the good guys and bad guys apart now.
    Their overt actions proclaim it. Preparedness is not a crime, despite being treated as such by most folks. Rampaging with a firearm, on the other hand, is.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  15. #14
    Member Array Arisin Wind's Avatar
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    Here's more on the story:

    Teacher Fired for Having Gun In Vehicle | TheLedger.com

    BARTOW | Polk County School Board members Tuesday voted 6-0 to fire a teacher at the Ridge Career Center because a handgun was found in his truck in a school parking lot last spring.

    Philip Bradley, 51, appealed to the board to let him keep his job. A hearing officer who reviewed the case had recommended Bradley be suspended for 90 days.

    But school officials said they needed to send a message in a district where students caught with weapons on campus are typically suspended for a year.

    Board members said teachers should be held to a higher standard of accountability than students.

    "How could we OK your employment?" board member Margaret Lofton asked Bradley. "We expect our students to abide by the rules."

    Board members Hazel Sellers and Kay Fields also said that it would set a bad example for students if they agreed to a 90-day suspension.

    Bradley taught truck mechanics and worked Ridge Career Center in Winter Haven for 16 years. His principal, co-workers and some students asked that board members let Bradley keep his job, said Kevin Cox, Bradley's lawyer and brother-in-law.

    "I'm sorry for my students," Bradley said after the meeting. "I feel like I've been singled out because it's an election year (for School Board members)."

    On May 11, Winter Haven police who received a report that Bradley had a gun at the school found a 9-mm pistol in the teacher's truck. Police charged Bradley with one felony count of possession of a firearm on school property. The charge was dropped in June.

    Cox told board members that Bradley never broke the law by carrying the gun.

    The incident began when school officials learned Bradley had been angry at a student and at least one student claimed Bradley had used threatening language.

    Fred Murphy, the district's assistant superintendent of transportation, has said he went to Ridge Career Center the day of Bradley's arrest and that he and the school resource officer interviewed the teacher.

    "I asked him if he had made any threats ... about 'going to Virginia Tech on his students,'" Murphy has said, referring to the massacre at the college.

    On Tuesday, Cox said that Bradley had become angry at a student the day before, but never mentioned Virginia Tech.

    He said that Bradley's wife was harassed after the comment appeared in the newspaper. While Bradley was traveling, his wife stayed with relatives to avoid harassment, Cox said.

    The day of the argument, Bradley was angry because the students had broken brooms at the school after he had told them to stop, Cox said.

    Murphy has said that in his interview with Bradley he asked the teacher whether he carried a weapon.

    He said Bradley replied "not usually."

    Cox said that Bradley works a second job as a truck driver and sometimes carries a gun for protection because he travels to areas that aren't safe.

    The day of the argument with the student, Bradley was not carrying a gun, but the following day Bradley was making a delivery in his truck, Cox said.

    In October, David Manry, a Tallahassee law judge, heard the case in Bartow. Months later, Manry issued a recommendation that Bradley be suspended for 90 days.

    Before board members voted Tuesday, Donald Wilson Jr., a lawyer for the School District, said Bradley should be fired for breaking School Board policy.

    "He brought a loaded weapon onto campus," Wilson said. "He should be terminated."

    School Board attorney Wes Bridges said normally the district accepts recommendations from hearing officers.

    Bridges, who has worked for the District since 1998, said he couldn't recall an instance when a teacher was fired for carrying a gun on campus. But, he said, many teachers resign or are fired before hearings, and he may not have heard about those cases.

    Bradley would not comment after the meeting about his plans.

    "I will survive," Bradley said.

    Board member Tim Harris wasn't at Tuesday's meeting and didn't participate in the vote.

    [ John Chambliss can be reached at john.chambliss@theledger.com 863-802-7588. ]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    Beg to differ. I can't say that I recall the federal wording, but I there is something that allows it. For example: In MI, schools are specifically prohibited places by state law, which is also very clear that it doesn't apply to parking areas.

    Also, not fired for breaking the law. I'm sure he was fired for breaking policy.
    Due to a poorly written statute, if the school district had a written policy forbidding the teacher from having the firearm in the parked vehicle, then he was in violation of F.S. 790.115.

    See Gutmacher, Florida Firearms, pp. 147 and 149.

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