ST. HELENS, Ore. – A teacher at St. Helens High School says the school board ignored teachers’ opinions when they repealed a ban on teachers and staff members carrying concealed weapons on campus.
Amber Horn said the board knew how the teachers felt about the issue, but didn’t care.
“Totally unvalued. Our opinion doesn’t matter,” she said. “A teacher’s worst nightmare is a gun in school. I have a toddler there. That’s the worst nightmare there is.”
The ban was put in place in March, but a new set of board members decided to set it aside this week. Board member Ray Biggs and Chairman Marshall Porter, in particular, think teachers should be able to have guns in the event of a school shooting.
“I would say that the risk is more likely that somebody who isn’t following the law is a higher risk to your child coming on to school property than the one that is going to do it legally,” Porter told KATU on Friday.
Horn said the union polled teachers last spring and most of them said no to guns.
Last week, teachers across the district were buzzing about a controversial vote, which Horn thought was about middle school sports. It wasn’t.
"I didn't know until they had voted, until after they had voted, that this was coming," said Horn. "I would have shown up if had known this was going to be voted on."
KATU spoke with board member Kellie Smith on Sunday. She said the vote was on the public agenda and that anyone who didn't see it probably wasn't paying attention.
“I’ve been losing sleep over this. This is something I’m willing to take on,” Horn said.
“I chose to dedicate my life to teenagers because I love them. They can drive me crazy at times. They’re also capable of incredible generosity and thoughts.”
KATU's Chelsea Kopta contributed to this story.