School Shootings Rare in Missouri, but Prevention Ideas Abound

7 years 5 days 58 minutes ago Monday, February 11 2013 Feb 11, 2013 Monday, February 11, 2013 2:17:00 PM CST February 11, 2013 in News
By: Garrett Bergquist
loading

COLUMBIA - Data provided to KOMU 8 News show weapons offenses accounted for less than one-half of one percent of suspensions and expulsions in Missouri schools last year.

According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which tracks disciplinary problems, there were about 1,500 suspensions and expulsions for weapons-related offenses in schools last year, accounting for 0.45 percent of the nearly 344,000 such actions recorded. For comparison, there were more than 3,600 suspensions for drug-related offenses and 4,300 for tobacco in Missouri schools during the same period. The percentage of weapons-related disciplinary actions was even lower in Columbia, with 28 out of a total of more than 10,600 such actions. State law mandates any student who brings a weapon of any kind to school be suspended or expelled.

Nevertheless, at least four Missouri legislators have introduced legislation aimed specifically at preventing a school shooting like that in Newtown, Conn. last December. These bills include:
• House Bill 70, permitting teachers to carry concealed weapons
• House Bill 276, permitting teachers to carry concealed weapons and act as school protection officers after receiving basic training
• Senate Bill 75, requiring all schools to hold annual active shooter training sessions and teach the NRA's "Eddie Eagle" gun safety program to first graders
• Senate Bill 124, requiring any parents who own a gun or guns to disclose this fact to school districts

There have been at least four school shootings in Missouri's history, mostly in the St. Louis area. In 1983, a Parkway South Middle School student killed one fellow pupil and wounded another before turning the gun on himself. Four years later, a DeKalb, Mo. student shot and killed a classmate and himself. A St. Louis-area Sumner High School student was shot and killed in a hallway in 1993. Most recently, on Jan. 15 of this year, a gunman wounded the director of financial aid at the Stevens Institute of Business & Arts. By comparison, the Highway Patrol reports there were three homicides in Columbia in 2012 alone. Cole County Sheriff Greg White said, on a day-to-day basis, schools are by far the safest place for children.

"You are far more likely to get hurt going to the mall than at school," White said.

Lawmakers' opinions vary on the proposals that have been put forth, and some of their concerns cross party lines. Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, told KOMU 8 News he doesn't think allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons in the classroom, as HB 70 would do, is sufficient. He said teachers should be provided training for close-quarters combat scenarios similar to the ones they would encounter with active shooters. Brattin's bill, HB 276, would do that. Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis, said he thought a program such as the NRA's Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program to educate children about the dangers of guns is a good idea. Colona drew the line at concealed carry, saying that decision should be left up to school districts. He said allowing teachers in his district to carry concealed weapons would be a bad idea.

Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis, said she opposed concealed carry for teachers as well as mandating shooter or gun safety training. She said decisions about school security should be left up to individual school districts. Newman said the main thing the state legislature can do to prevent mass shootings is to tighten gun laws, such as banning assault weapons and requiring all firearm purchases to go through a federally-licensed dealer. Newman is sponsoring a bill that would mandate the latter.

Current state law says relatively little about school security. Missouri's conceal and carry law forbids carrying a concealed weapon in a school "without the consent of the governing body of the higher education institution or a school official or the district school board." Lawmakers from both parties say this means school districts already have the authority to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons. HB 70 would allow teachers statewide to carry a concealed weapon without first obtaining the consent currently required.

Democrats and Republicans agree that financial concerns are the number one obstacle any new security idea must overcome. Rep. Mike Kelley, the Lamar Republican sponsoring HB 70, said measures from bulletproof glass to school resource officers would most likely require a tax increase, something he doubts voters would approve. Colona echoed Kelley's financial concerns, but added that talking about the issue and coming up with new crisis-management plans doesn't cost anything.

All of the firearms-related legislation currently facing the general assembly, including the proposals dealing with schools, are either in committee or have yet to reach this stage.

 

 

 

 

Missouri Senate Bill 75

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri House Bill 276

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri Senate Bill 124

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri House Bill 70

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Members of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri will spend two days at the capitol,... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 7:34:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Members of Rock Bridge High School’s Students Demand Action group hosted a forum Sunday where local leaders answered... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 7:07:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
LACEDE COUNTY- One teen died and three others suffered injuries in a single-car-accident Saturday afternoon. The driver of the... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 5:48:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
VIENNA- On Thursday, February 13, Task Force Officers, Vienna Police Department, and the Maries County Sheriff’s Office executed a search... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 4:43:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (AP) — Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting last week, and authorities... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 4:00:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
HALLSVILLE- A house fire broke out off North Frink Road Sunday afternoon. Firefighters found a fire in the attic... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 2:19:00 PM CST February 16, 2020 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — Linn Creek, Missouri Police Chief Greg Berry was arrested Saturday afternoon by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 11:32:00 AM CST February 16, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — Two women were seriously injured after head-on collision between a Prius and a semi-truck early Sunday morning, according... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 10:41:00 AM CST February 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A new route and a new bus shelter will be added at the intersection of Rice Road and... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, February 16 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Sunday, February 16, 2020 10:00:00 AM CST February 16, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Thousands of people and more than 300 gallons of chili filled the Expo Center Saturday for the 15th... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Runners braved the cold weather Saturday morning for the R.A.M.S 5K. R.A.M.S is a nonprofit MU organization... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 6:44:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
FESTUS (AP) — Police in eastern Missouri say a 73-year-old man has been shot to death, and his 42-year-old son... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 5:28:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One of Missouri State Highway Patrol's vehicles was struck by a semitruck late Thursday night. MSHP shared... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 4:44:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Don Allard, who served as Columbia’s city manager for 12 years, died Wednesday in Arvada, Colorado, after a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 4:10:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Four candidates are running for three open seats on the Columbia School Board. Although there are less... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 3:41:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Local nonprofit Building Community Bridges held its monthly community day Saturday afternoon. Saturday's event had a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 3:00:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A jury has awarded $265 million in punitive damages to a Missouri peach grower who sued... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 2:41:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -The mid-Missouri Harley-Davidson hosted its monthly event today to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 15 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Saturday, February 15, 2020 2:36:00 PM CST February 15, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 41°
8am 43°
9am 43°
10am 46°
11am 48°