School officials deeply troubled over guns appearing ON SIGNS BANNING GUNS
Administrators at a school in the South Suburbs of Chicago are up in arms over a state law (House Bill 0183) that requires schools to post small signs announcing that guns cannot be carried in schools.
The new law relates to a new concealed-carry license law, reports the SouthtownStar, a suburban newspaper. Schools in Illinois did not allow guns previously. Now, though, schools — and government agencies, liquor stores and certain other organizations — must post 4-by-6-inch stickers as visible reminders that guns are forbidden on premises.
Many schools in the Chicago area — and, presumably, other parts of the state — have already posted the small stickers in compliance with state law. Others expect to post them over the next couple weeks.
Some school officials aren’t happy about the stickers because they contain a very basic image of a gun.
“It is bothersome to have to post a sticker of a gun that says, ‘Hey, folks, leave your guns at home,'” Theresa Nolan, principal of Tinley Park High School, told the SouthtownStar.
Nolan stressed that she is very concerned with “safety and security” and concerned that, somehow, someone could wrongly interpret an image of a gun emblazoned with the universal sign for prohibiting something.
“I think the general public will be alarmed by it and wonder if people have been allowed to bring guns to school in the past,” Nolan also fretted.
She said she would prefer “something more subtle.”
“You can’t look at this (sticker) and not think about Sandy Hook,” the principal added.
Sandy Hook is, of course, a reference to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20-year-old Adam Lanza massacred 20 young children and six adults.
Randy Couwenhoven, an associate principal at Tinley Park High, agreed.
“The intent of the stickers is to inform those with a concealed-carry license that they are not allowed to bring a gun into this location,” told the local paper. “It is a reminder to this particular audience, an audience that should already know this.”
Administrators at other Chicago-area schools take a different view.
“It is not necessarily something you’d want on a school building,” said Paul Enderle, a superintendent in Oak Lawn. “But it correlates with the law, and I think if it ultimately helps to keep schools safe, that’s the objective.”
Illinois was the last state to maintain a full concealed-carry ban in the United States. A federal appeals court struck down the ban in December 2012. (RELATED: Chicago moves toward gun rights)