The woman who brought a handgun in her purse to the District Five school board meeting on Monday, September 26 was not arrested, detained or taken to jail. There is no question that a law was broken and even with the absence of intent the woman clearly was in the wrong. District Five school board meetings lately have been highly contentious and attended by citizens with animosity toward certain board members.
The handgun was discovered as the woman tried to enter the school through the metal detector. At that time she was instructed by school security to take the weapon to her car and was then allowed to return to the meeting. Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said that the deputies did not receive recommendations from school security that the woman be detained because she complied with the officer’ request so therefore no crime was committed. How is that even an option? SLED commented that the officers acted accordingly by instructing the woman to secure the weapon in the trunk of her car.
State law clearly says that a person with a concealed weapon permit may legally drive onto school grounds with their gun as long as it is secured in a locked box in the glove compartment or trunk.
Neither of which were the case when this woman tried to gain entry to the board meeting. State law also makes it clear that no weapons can be brought inside the building.
The woman has attacked school board members in her posts on social media. Her Facebook page is currently being subpoenaed by one of the board member’s lawyer as part of a defamation suit that is a private matter and outside the district’s scope.
In today’s approach to protecting children in our schools there should be a ‘zero tolerance’ policy with no exceptions and anyone with a weapon on school grounds should face immediate consequences. Airports, federal buildings, public transportation, jail, law enforcement offices and even churches prohibit the presence of a weapon. So how does a person with a CWP not have questioned themselves as to where their gun might be when driving onto school grounds?
After violating state law and endangering all those attending this woman was allowed to reenter the building and attend the board meeting.
The meeting was held at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies located on Mount Vernon Church Road.
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