Nonprofit Partners Support Case Challenging School District Plan to Arm Teachers


Our nonprofit partners CeaseFirePA, Education Law Center, and Public Interest Law Center, with Public Citizens for Children and Youth, filed an amicus brief in support of the Tamaqua Education Association, who is challenging a new Tamaqua Area School District policy to arm teachers and school faculty. According to Public Interest Law Center, the amici organizations are “united in the belief that this misguided and dangerous policy is in violation of Pennsylvania and federal law and will make students, faculty, and administrators far less safe.”

Many community members in Tamaqua, including teachers, students, and parents, expressed concern for the policy, which the School District claims will promote safety in schools despite contrary evidence from those affected by the policy. However, according to Public Interest Law Center, there is clear data that shows that the presence of more guns will increase the likelihood of gun violence and deaths. The policy could then “create an immediate likelihood of danger and harm to Tamaqua teachers and students,” the brief reports.

In their amicus brief, the organizations state that the policy directly conflicts with the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, which serves to reduce the number of firearms in schools. With the passage of the Gun Free School Zones Act in 1990, “’school associated homicide’ declined ‘significantly,’ from .07 homicides per 100,000 students to .03 homicides per 100,000 students,” according to CDC data in the report.

To learn more about the brief, visit Public Interest Law Center’s website.