It's 'concealed' for a reason

Everyone interested in the Second Amendment is following the case of a Medford teacher who is suing the school district there because it won't let her carry a firearm at work even though she has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. But the facts of the case make it a case that is less about gun rights than about common sense.

The teacher says she wants to be armed because she's afraid of her ex-husband, who she says has threatened to harm her.

So a teacher fears she will be attacked at work, perhaps while she is teaching her class. Regardless of whether she is armed, this has to be of concern to the school, the pupils and all their parents. If the teacher's fears are well grounded — and nobody can say they're not — the school faces a heightened risk. And now that it knows of the risk, it can't afford to ignore it. So whether it wants to or not, the school has to take heightened precautions. What those might be, only the people on the scene can assess.

As for guns, if Albany is an example, schools in general have policies allowing no firearms — permit or not — except under the control of law officers or as part of some program such as hunter safety instruction or in the shooting sports.

State law says the general prohibition against guns in public buildings does not apply to holders of concealed carry permits. But schools must be free to make their own reasonable policies concerning employees and students. It's not unreasonable to try to keep loaded firearms out.

But rules do not prevent trouble. So now and then students are caught with firearms and expelled. Chances are that more often than not, they are not caught and nobody is the wiser. The same may be true for a few teachers. After all, the permit is to carry the gun "concealed." Like all holders of carry permits, all teachers are fingerprinted and must have clean criminal histories. Otherwise they could have neither a license to teach nor one to carry a weapon concealed. So when it comes to threats, schools have less to worry about from legally armed teachers than from just about anybody else.

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