Enforcing School Security Rules

Many East Ohio and Northern Panhandle residents enjoy hunting. It is not uncommon for many to leave firearms in their cars or trucks between trips in search of game.

But a Swiss Hills Career Center teacher made a serious mistake earlier this fall, in bringing a gun used to hunt deer onto school property. He was suspended from work temporarily, after school district Superintendent Larry Elliott found out about the infraction.

Had the gun been left out of sight in a vehicle in the center’s parking lot, it might never have been noticed. But the teacher, who was planning to have students do maintenance work on his car, told them the weapon was in it.

Clearly, there was no criminal intent involved. But that does not matter. Rules are rules, and schools in both our states have strict “no tolerance” bans on many types of weapons. Had the gun been spotted in a student’s car, disciplinary measures would have been taken.

So school officials had no choice but to discipline the teacher. Whether any more punishment is meted out is yet to be determined.

Elliott understands the situation involved a simple oversight by the teacher. It is too bad the instructor had to be disciplined – but, again, school officials were absolutely right to do so. Rules are rules, whether broken by students or school staff members.