Wake County NC and State Clash over guns.

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Thread: Wake County NC and State Clash over guns.

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Wake County NC and State Clash over guns.

    newsobserver.com | State law, school policy clash over guns


    State law, school policy clash over guns
    Sam LaGrone, Staff Writer
    ZEBULON - For Robert Lumley, the decision to bar his East Wake High
    School club marksmanship team from a statewide shooting tournament was
    as arresting as a shotgun blast.

    Less than a day before the March 15 district round of the decades-old
    N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission competition, one of East Wake's
    principals, with the support of the area superintendent who oversees
    that school, stopped the team from participating.

    The reason: Ammo and students don't mix, the school officials said.

    Like districts across the nation, Wake County bans deadly weapons from
    campuses and prohibits students from carrying them on school trips.
    But the decision to bar the East Wake team from the tournament extends
    that prohibition to students participating in an off-campus event
    sponsored by a state agency and supervised by adults certified in
    firearms safety.

    That call pits school policy against state law that allows firearms
    education at schools. The decision also runs counter to the efforts of
    wildlife agencies, hunting organizations and gun groups to recruit
    youths to replenish the dwindling number of hunters. It also
    underscores the tension between the fear of school massacres and the
    traditions of rural Wake, where hunting is still common.

    "I can appreciate the fact they may have a policy, but all the
    government agencies need to remember, they're there to serve the
    public," said Wes Seegars, chairman of the N.C. Wildlife Resources
    Commission. "There is something lost in a policy that does not serve
    the needs of the community."

    The East Wake decision nullified months of practice by Lumley, a
    17-year-old senior, and the rest of the 16-member marksmanship and
    orienteering team -- an offshoot of the school-approved FFA club,
    formerly known as the Future Farmers of America.

    Lumley was riding with a team member the day before the tournament
    when he got the call that the principal "had put the red light on it,"
    he said.

    "If we had more time, we could have done something about it," Lumley said.

    Schools diverge

    Not all Wake schools treat marksmanship teams the same.

    Cary High School allows students to use air rifles in
    school-sanctioned events. Cary's Navy JROTC program fires .117-caliber
    air rifles as part of off-campus competitions, principal Douglas
    Thilman said.

    "We have had no issues with it," Thilman said.

    The difference between East Wake and Cary is that JROTC programs are
    part of the school curriculum and FFA clubs are not, according to Wake
    Superintendent Del Burns.

    The participation of Lumley's team in the shooting tournament came to
    the attention of school officials when another Wake school sought
    permission to participate.

    That request drew the attention of Danny Barnes, area superintendent,
    and Sebastian Shipp, one of four principals at East Wake, and prompted
    them to review the status of Lumley's marksmanship team. This led to
    East Wake not being allowed to compete because of district policy.

    "It's not a criticism of what the kids are trying to do," Barnes said.

    Burns said these kinds of decisions are up to each principal.

    At least one gun-control advocate agrees with the decision.

    "The school and school board should have that right," said Roxane
    Kolar, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.
    "You have to assume a school knows what's best for their school."

    The Wildlife Commission tournament, now in its 30th year, is an
    incentive for middle school and high school students to participate in
    the hunter education course and is part of a larger effort to attract
    youths to hunting.

    Each year, close to 2,000 middle and high-schoolers compete at the
    district level across the state. The competition is broken up into
    skeet shooting, rifle marksmanship, archery, and navigation across
    forests and fields. The state competition is in late April.

    Chris Huebner of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission hunter's
    education program said the tournament promotes safety and is far from
    risky.

    "What we teach is what the consequences are and what [guns are]
    capable of doing," Huebner said. "It's all in the perspective of
    safety."

    Like many competitors in the tournament, East Wake's team members are
    graduates of the state's hunter education program and are part of the
    school's FFA club, led by adviser and East Wake teacher Janet Harris.

    Harris has taught hunter education at East Wake and coached the
    tournament team for 22 years. She said her charges aren't happy about
    being barred from this year's competition.

    "They were very disappointed, very upset," Harris said. "There's
    nothing we can do about it."

    A question of fairness

    Lumley's mother, Carol, said the hunting education team's members are
    being unfairly characterized by the school system.

    "It's not like we're the rednecks that have to have guns," she said.
    "If this was promoting violence, what about wrestling? Is that
    promoting hand-to-hand combat?"

    Robert Lumley and the rest of the team practiced at neighbors' farms
    and kept the guns off school grounds.

    "Farm boys and guns go hand in hand," said Fred Ammons, who has hosted
    the team's tryouts on his farm.

    For Lumley, months of hard training made the last-minute prohibition
    difficult to accept. Barred from competing on a Friday, Lumley's first
    thoughts when he woke up the next day were locked on the Saturday
    competition.

    "When I looked at the clock, it was 11 a.m.," he said. "The first
    thing I thought was, 'Is the tournament over yet?' "

    (Staff writer T. Keung Hui contributed to this report)

    sam.lagrone@newsobserver.com or (919) 836-4951
    Staff writer T. Keung Hui contributed to this report
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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    Senior Member Array rdoggsilva's Avatar
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    It is time for the parents to take back the school board, replace the superintendent and fire the principal.
    John Steinbeck: Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

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    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    "The school and school board should have that right," said Roxane
    Kolar, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.
    "You have to assume a school knows what's best for their school."
    Why? Because she says we should assume so? Thanks for doing all my thinking for me. After all the drivel to come out of the US school systems the past few years, I've had it. There is no way in Hell I will send my kids to public schools.

    That club sounds damned cool. I would have LOVED to try out for it.
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    Senior Member Array press1280's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, this is Liberalism 101 by this school superintendant. It just follows the same pattern you see in most urban and academic environments. Too bad a lot of folks don't recognize it and call them out on it.
    "The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree..."
    Nunn v. State GA 1848

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    New Member Array Lensgrinder's Avatar
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    Short and simple... They should have ignored his "prohibition" and gone to the tournament! He had no power to restrict this activity. His authority extends only to the boundries of school property.

    Deal with this moron in court after he tries to dish out the consequences!

    Why do so many kotow to this type of usurpsion of our rights??

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    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    I watched my son compete with an air rifle in the High School NJROTC back in 2000 at public school

    the local schools teach archery (outside instructors) (those same instructors are LEOs who wanted to "connect" with the kids at a different level and IIRC their training comes from the Ohio Dept of Wildlife

    IMHO zero tolerance = turn off your brain

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    This is one of the many reasons why my wife and I decided to home school our two children. With idiots like these running our school systems, they teach children what they want them to learn. there was no way we were going to let them brainwash our children.

    Short and simple... They should have ignored his "prohibition" and gone to the tournament! He had no power to restrict this activity. His authority extends only to the boundries of school property.
    Unfortunately, that is not true. Students are often suspended for their actions off campus, even when it involves activities unrelated to the school.
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    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    Lensgrinder got it right:

    "Short and simple... They should have ignored his "prohibition" and gone to the tournament! He had no power to restrict this activity. His authority extends only to the boundaries of school property."

    Our local schools do participate in this program. It is an extremely well run program with an emphasis on safety. In a sane world, it would be part of the school curriculum.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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    New Member Array Lensgrinder's Avatar
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    With all due respect, deadeye, this is a lawful activity sanctioned by NCDNR, not some questionable "action off campus".

    Show me one incident where a student was suspended for a lawful, off-campus activity. These idiots can only be reigned-in by ACTION on our part, not by subjugating ourselves to their arbitrary rules.

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lensgrinder View Post
    Show me one incident where a student was suspended for a lawful, off-campus activity.
    Creating a personal myspace page of which Der Führer, er, I mean principal, disapproves?

    I agree with the sentiment, though. The kids should have gone to the tournament anyway. "Ammo and students don't mix" my hairy white . How about: "Positions of authority and petty, overcompensating, holier-than-though, sanctimonius prig petty tyrants don't mix." Rings much more true to me...
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    ...
    Show me one incident where a student was suspended for a lawful, off-campus activity. ...
    Only because you asked, not because I disagree with your sentiment.

    'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' case limits student rights - CNN.com

    PBS Teachers | learning.now . Court Rules Against Student Suspended Over Threatening Instant Messaging Avatar | PBS

    ACLU To Defend Student Suspended For MySpace Postings - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver

    I'm sure there's hundreds more.

    I was suspended for giving a friend a freeware game (on floppy), outside of school. He later brought the game to school and installed it on some school computers. They suspended me for giving him the disk, even though it had been done off-campus. They revoked the suspension after the first day, and a visit from my irate parents.

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