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Portland Public Schools expands weapons ban

The expanded ban restricts anyone with a concealed firearms license from carrying a gun on Portland Public Schools property.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — The board of Portland Public Schools voted this week to expand its weapons ban to restrict anyone with a concealed firearms license from carrying a gun on PPS property.

The action follows a bill the Oregon Legislature passed earlier this year giving schools the ability to prohibit concealed carry weapons on school property, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

An analysis by the news outlet found about 13% of public school districts in Oregon have passed a ban.

RELATED: Few Oregon schools have banned guns on campus

The West Linn-Wilsonville School District recently adopted a revised policy. Disruptions postponed a meeting to discuss the policy in Eugene last month.

Comments from members of the Portland Public Schools community and the superintendent showed strong support for the resolution. During a June 1 meeting, parents were clear on where they stand on guns in school and asked the school board to expand its weapons ban.

"We know that guns and children do not mix,"  said parent Amie Wexler during the online meeting.

"I believe deeply and I know I'm not alone, that guns don't belong on our school grounds," said another parent, Jennifer Barth. 

RELATED: Portland Public Schools discusses banning guns from school grounds

In a June 10 memo to the board, Supt. Guadalupe Guerrero mentioned the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, as an event that has elevated safety concerns.

"We should remain focused on making our schools more safe by taking a more holistic approach that focuses on addressing antecedents, behavioral and mental health supports for students, continuing to make specific physical safety and security upgrades to schools, and being effectively prepared for potential crises," according to the memo.

The staff memo outlined the district's current safety efforts, and shared research to support a staff point that "the presence of guns in schools do not make teachers, students, and staff safer."

VIDEO: Oregon law allows schools to ban guns on campus, but few have (video from June 2, 2022)

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