The Norman Transcript

Local news

January 17, 2013

Issues arising in firearms debate

NORMAN — As post-Sandy Hook discourse on school violence and appropriate legislative response remains heated, the proposal to arm teachers has risen to national prominence as a controversial, polarizing conversation for professional educators facing an uncertain future.

State Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, brought the debate to the Oklahoma legislature with his December announcement of a bill he planned to bring to the House of Representatives authorizing teachers to carry firearms in schools.

Response from prominent Norman educators and community members has been mixed, but most agree that the arms debate highlights a need for addressing bigger societal problems that pre-existed the Sandy Hook massacre.

Ginger Tinney, executive director of Professional Oklahoma Educators, said her members’ response to the arms debate has been varied.

“From our membership, I’ve heard responses all across the board, and voices on both sides are very passionate,” Tinney said. “At a recent meeting, suggestions about a school security bond, using retired police or veterans as security personnel, mental illness and re-emphasizing ethics and compassion in schools were all raised. With everything coming from the state, our teachers are very stressed.”

Tinney said POE is currently conducting a poll of its membership to gauge the majority opinion on the question of arming teachers, and links to articles supporting and opposing the idea have been distributed on the group’s website.

“We want our members to read and ingest all sides of this issue,” Tinney said.

Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton expressed her support for taking the gun issue out of the school safety equation, cautioning against hasty reactions.

“We need to change the focus to safety for our children, which is a much larger topic than what we’re focusing on, and the answer has to be much bigger than looking at the gun issue,” Hampton said. “We can’t oversimplify what happened at Sandy Hook and there’s no quick fix, which is the problem after tragedies.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Bad year won’t dampen peachy tradition

    PORTER — A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.” Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU football recruit under investigation in assault case

    An attorney representing Joe Mixon confirmed Friday evening that the highly-recruited Oklahoma running back is being investigated by Norman Police in connection with an incident in which a woman suffered multiple facial fractures early ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Campus Cornerassault

    Norman Police responded to an alleged aggravated assault at the Campus Corner Pickelmans Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning....

    July 26, 2014

  • OU physicist receives $1M grant

    A University of Oklahoma physicist has received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop a quantum enhanced plasmonic sensor. The emerging field of physics known as quantum plasmonics will enable technology for sensing ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU awarded Mellon Grant

    The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras. The Digital Latin Library — a Linked Open Data resource — represents a ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Veterans’ breakfast set

    Veterans are invited to a free breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m. Tuesday as Tiffany’s Restaurant, 101 S. Main St., hosts the second annual David Bolser Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast....

    July 26, 2014

  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014