Medford plan would urge no-guns-on-campus law

The Medford School Board will consider a resolution tonight urging the state Legislature to enact a law clarifying school districts’ authority to ban concealed handguns on campuses except those carried by a police officer.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at South Medford High School, 815 S. Oakdale Ave. It’s open to the public.

The matter comes on the heels of a recent ruling by a Jackson County judge who concluded school districts have the authority to forbid school employees from carrying guns on campuses.

The decision was a response to a challenge by Shirley Katz, an English teacher at South Medford High School, of the Medford district’s policy restricting employees’ possession of guns on school property.

Medford district officials and some of their colleagues around the state say they want to prohibit all guns on campuses, either by expressly allowing school boards to pass policies to that effect or by passing a statewide ban.

It is unclear in state law whether school boards have the authority to bar any member of the public from carrying a gun to a school, said Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long.

Jackson County Judge Philip Arnold’s ruling pertained only to district employees.

— Paris Achen

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