Tahlequah Daily Press

February 12, 2013

TPS’ Presley opposed to guns for teachers

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Presley on Monday gave board members an update on a few proposed bills at the statehouse that would impact public education if enacted.

Presley said one piece of legislation would allow teachers to carry loaded firearms at school.

“I am not in favor of this legislation,” said Presley.

Presley said she’d rather see funding provided for trained, uniformed officers to help protect students.

“We equip these [teachers] to go out and teach children, not necessarily to protect them with firearms,” said Presley.

She called the liability of arming teachers and administrators with firearms a “huge” issue and described it as “very scary.”

She also told board members the county’s new Parent Legislative Action Committee is meeting this week to discuss how to approach the issue, which may include sending parents to Oklahoma City to lobby against the proposal.

“We can’t be too busy; [we need to] let our opinion known,” said Presley. “I honestly believe we’re going to have to send parents out to make a difference on some of this legislation.”

Another bill floating around would allow students who feel they have been bullied in a school district to transfer to another district. Presley said the district the student wants to leave would have no ability to deny the transfer.

Board members were also told Gov. Mary Fallin and State Superintendent Janet Barresi have each asked legislators for an increase state education funding, but their requests differ greatly. Fallin has asked for an additional $13.5 million, Presley said, while Barresi is seeking more than $200 million extra.