Coverage of Potential Gun Use In TX Schools Misses Teacher Crime Records


Texas school boards can allow employees with concealed carry permits to bring their firearms to school, and Gov. Rick Perry says school administrators and teachers should be allowed to carry licensed, concealed weapons. The Columbia Journalism Review says media coverage of various proposals to allow more weapons in schools “has failed to consider common sense questions, or provide context, analysis, or just plain reporting beyond what politicians and interest groups say.”

The coverage has missed that more than 1,000 educators have been reprimanded or worse, lost or surrendered their teaching license in the last five years, for everything from complaints filed by students to criminal charges by police—including some serious felonies. Nearly 200 school districts are out of compliance with the state law requiring background checks and fingerprints. One fundamental reason why schools may not be the best place to put weapons: more than 1,300 teachers (out of the 324,213 in Texas) have lost or surrendered their teaching licenses, or been suspended or reprimanded, for a range of non-criminal complaints and criminal charges. Terminable offenses include homicide, assault, and sexual assault. “If a license is revoked or surrendered,” said state education spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson, “then they've committed a pretty senior offense.”

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