URGENT: HB 4299 “Arming Teachers Bill” on House Education Committee Agenda Wednesday. Jan. 24 at 2pm
From Jim McJunkin, MD – Moms Demand Action Legislative Lead:
Dear Moms Demand Action Members & Friends:
We received notice that HB 4299, Arming Teachers and Administrators—one of the worst bills of the current legislative session—-will be heard in the House Education Committee WEDNESDAY 1/24 at 2:00 p.m.
Current WV law prohibits guns in K-12 schools. HB 4299 would allow teachers, administrators, and support staff to become designated “school protection officers” (“SPOs”) to carry hidden, loaded guns in schools.
The bill would allow school districts to designate school teachers, administrators, and/or support staff members to serve as SPOs permitted to carry concealed firearms on school grounds. Any teacher, administrator or support staff member could apply to be an SPO, provided they have a valid concealed carry permit and have completed a new training program designed by the WV Department of Homeland Security.
The as-yet to be invented DHS training has no mandated minimum number of total hours but is capped at a maximum of just 24 hours of training.
Suggested message to lawmakers:
Dear Delegate ___:
I’m writing to strongly urge you to oppose HB 4299. Guns in schools don’t make us safer – especially in the hands of people who have little training and vetting – and increase the risk of a terrible unintentional shooting of our children.
(INSERT PERSONAL DETAILS WHY YOU OPPOSE GUNS IN SCHOOLS – PLEASE NOTE IF YOU’RE A CONSTITUENT)
We need meaningful, evidence-informed solutions to keep our kids safe, like
—investing in safety upgrades to school buildings and school-based clinicians and mental health professionals —encouraging secure storage of firearms at home, and
—ensuring that schools focus on threat assessment and trauma-informed emergency plans.
Educators, law enforcement, and school safety experts are united in their opposition to arming teachers—we should listen to the people who know how to create a safe and successful learning environment for our children.
Thank you for your attention.
Advocates will also gather at the Capitol at 1:30PM to attend the committee meeting. Meet Dee Price at the Upper Rotunda on the House side. Wear red.
Bills Passed Committee – Soon to Be Voted on by the Full Senate
The Senate Government Organization Committee has passed SB 321. More from Dr. McJunkin:
SB 321 involves as its title says: “Limitations upon municipalities’ power to restrict the sale and storage of weapons and ammunition and preventing municipalities from targeting “protected” (my quotes) businesses with planning and zoning ordinances more restrictive than those placed on other businesses. ” Mention is also made in the bill of who can carry and store guns in recreation centers, mainly concealed carry license holders; this issue has been hanging around for years and I was surprised to see it in the bill.
Suggested message to your lawmakers:
Tell the lawmakers your name and where you are from and ask them to oppose SB 321. Tell them that local government and local law enforcement should be able to determine local public safety policies since they are best positioned to know how to keep their communities safe.
The above is sufficient but if you want to add more you could add:
Lawmakers who espouse the importance of local control should be consistent, including where firearms and ammunition are concerned, especially as these may present hazards worthy of consideration for public safety..
Click here to find your individual state legislators using your address or location.
The Senate Health Committee has passed SB 468.
More here from our friends at WV FREE:
Take Action to Keep Propaganda Out of WV Schools
A dangerously misguided bill that requires West Virginia educators to peddle a narrow special interest group’s idea of “education” to young students passed out of the West Virginia Senate Health Committee this morning and was sent to the full floor of the Senate.
The full committee, those of us in the audience, and others watching online were subjected to the blatantly biased video. Watching it, it struck me how utterly unthinkable it is that lawmakers could support pushing this kind of propaganda on our youth and teachers. You can read the bill for yourself here.
WV FREE believes that youth deserve honesty and unbiased education – not fear mongering and deception that could put their health at risk – and experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree. Health professionals support medically accurate, age-appropriate, non-biased sex ed, and believe that the focus should be on young people’s health, not political agendas!
All is not lost; there was some well-warranted questioning of the bill in committee. We can sense the skepticism of reasonable minds. We must do all that we can to stop Senate Bill 468 and continue to look for innovative ways to ensure accurate information and real support for the young people in our state.
TAKE ACTION: Email your legislator right away to tell them to support our youth, protect our teachers, and keep bias out of the classroom.