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Granite District Threatens to Fire Employees Who Leave Guns Unattended

Granite District Threatens to Fire Employees Who Leave Guns Unattended

Posted - May 21, 2003 at 8:02 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Under a proposed policy, Granite School District employees would be fired if they left their guns unattended in a briefcase or coat pocket inside school.

The policy proposed by the school board Tuesday and a policy under consideration by the Jordan School Board are attempts to limit the districts' liability for misuse of guns that the Legislature has mandated schools to permit.

However, the Utah Attorney General's Office is not sure school boards have the authority to impose restrictions or conditions on the holders of concealed-weapons permits.

"We've given both policies to a panel of our attorneys, and they're going to look at it, but they haven't made any determination about it yet," spokesman Paul Murphy said.

Granite officials plan to consider the proposed policy for final approval at the board's June 17 meeting.

"We clearly believe it's within the board's authority to say if you're exercising your right to carry a concealed weapon, then carry it, but do not leave it on our property," said Martin Bates, the district's policy adviser and human resources assistant to the superintendent.

The Granite District policy would required concealed-weapons holders to maintain constant possession of their weapons.

It also would prohibit them from initiating discussions about their gun-toting, but they could respond in an "appropriate and restrained manner to a spontaneous question from a student regarding whether or not the employee holds a permit."

Bates said, "Educators are in unique positions of influence and should not use that position to influence children to their personal beliefs, whether that's matters of religion or matters of carrying guns, outside the context of their teaching assignment."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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