Georgia School Boards Association Risk Management Services August 2014 Webinar
Chris Erwin Director of Risk Management Services
GSBA does not offer legal advice. The information presented here is based on our understanding of the statute and legislative process. For specific situations, districts should seek the advice of their attorney. We strongly encourage districts to meet with local law enforcement personnel to ensure everybody is interpreting the statues the same way. Training, preparation, thinking things through ahead of time, having a plan and communication are key to handling this.
Angela Palm Director of Policy and Legislative Services Angela Palm is Director of Policy and Legislative Services for the Georgia School Boards Association. She leads the team assisting local boards with policy issues, review and development and directs the state and federal advocacy programs. Prior to GSBA, Ms. Palm was executive director of the Georgia School Council Institute (GSCI), a nonprofit created to train and support the local school advisory councils. She has conducted workshops on parent involvement, politics, education policy and data analysis for a variety of groups across the state and at national conferences. Ms. Palm has 15 years of corporate management experience. She has a B.S. in Psychology and English from Judson College and an MBA from the University of Nebraska. A native of Alabama, she has lived in Atlanta for over two decades and has been an active volunteer in her community.
What Did HB 60 Change for Schools? Policy to authorize personnel to carry weapons under certain conditions Not really the “guns everywhere” bill – Know the definitions – Understand there are prohibitions
16-11-127.1(a) (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) "Bus or other transportation furnished by a school" means a bus or other transportation furnished by a public or private elementary or secondary school. (2) "School function" means a school function or related activity that occurs outside of a school safety zone and is for a public or private elementary or secondary school.
16-11-127.1(a) (3) "School safety zone" means in or on any real property or building owned by or leased to: (A) Any public or private elementary school, secondary school, or local board of education and used for elementary or secondary education; and (B) Any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education.
(4) "Weapon" means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, knuckles, whether made from metal, thermoplastic, wood, or other similar material, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the teacher. 16-11-127.1(a)
16-11-127.1 ( b) (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry to or to possess or have under such person's control while within a school safety zone or at a school function, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school any weapon or explosive compound, other than fireworks the possession of which is regulated by Chapter 10 of Title 25.
Exceptions Exceptions to the prohibition of weapons in the school safety zone are listed in 16-11- 127.1(c) 1-18 Allowing them to have it in the safety zone is not the same thing as allowing them to bring it into the building
Exception Most Questioned 16-11-127.1(c)(7): A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10, when such person carries or picks up a student within a school safety zone, at a school function, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school or a person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 when he or she has any weapon legally kept within a vehicle when such vehicle is parked within a school safety zone or is in transit through a designated school safety zone.
Who can carry a weapon inside a school? Are there any exceptions to which buildings they can enter with a weapon?
Can a person who has a carry license legally keep the weapon in their vehicle on school property? Is the weapon required to be locked up? If so, can a student of the school, who has carry license, keep a weapon in their vehicle on school property? If a person enters a school facility with a gun, how should they be approached? Are they required to take it back to their vehicle? Are they required to leave it in the office? Any suggestions on posting signs at the entrance of the school and/or other facilities?
Is an off-duty law officer allowed to carry in a school? How should staff members be addressed as they are requesting to be able to carry their weapons? Our district’s attorney has shared the interpretation that a person picking up, dropping off a child or going into the school for any reason may have a gun in their car but cannot bring said weapon into the building or on the premises of a school like the football field, stadium, baseball field, etc.. Is this correct? Is it required to have a posted sign on the perimeter of school property as well as the building itself in order to prevent a person from carrying a weapon into the building, stadium or premises of the school?
What policies have been implemented by school systems around the state? How does the gun law effect school functions such as a football game that is played at a non-school owned facility? How does the gun law effect school functions such as a prom that occurs at a non-school owned facility?
What if a school had to be evacuated and students were relocated to another site for family reunification that was not school property? If a school system does choose to arm administrators or teachers, what training would be required?
The Attorney General of Georgia has this information on his website: Both House Bill 60 and House Bill 826 addressed this question in amendments to O.C.G.A 16-11-127.1 The provisions are in conflict. House Bill 60 was signed by the Governor after House Bill 826 and is the later enactment, so the provisions of House Bill 60 control. Therefore, there is a general prohibition against carrying weapons in a school safety zone (which includes the real property or buildings of public or private elementary schools, secondary schools, technical schools, vocational schools, colleges or universities); however, a person who possesses a weapons carry license may have a weapon when carrying or picking up a student and may have a weapon in a vehicle that is in transit through or parked with a school safety zone. How are schools to interpret this ruling?
GEORGIA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES 5120 Sugarloaf Parkway Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043 Main Office Toll Free: 800-226-1856 Chris Erwin Director of Risk Management Services David Colvard Safety and Risk Control Coordinator