Danger of Domestic Violence Victims Working In Schools

By Mark Walters
Editors Note: AmmoLand News welcomes Mark Walters to our growing list of the best and brightest gun rights commentators, who are watching out for your RKBA.

Gun Violence Restraining Order
Danger of Domestic Violence Victims Working In Schools
Mark Walters
Mark Walters

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- The left is at it again, this time calling the recent San Bernardino domestic violence murder/suicide a “school shooting.”

It wasn’t. It was a domestic violence incident that occurred at a school, just as sure as it would have taken place at a meat packing facility or a shoe store in the mall if that happened to be the place of employment of the intended victim.

Make no mistake about what I’m about to tell you; the lefty gun grabbers love the fact this happened at a school.

That’s right; they love it. Time after time we see them exploit this type of violence for their endgame of civilian disarmament. Repeat, what happened in that San Bernardino school was not a “school shooting,” it was a domestic violence incident that happened at a school.

Having said that, I want to raise a bigger question. To many, it is controversial, which is why I’m asking it. Let me state this up front, and unequivocally, I don’t pretend to have the answer to my question, one I have raised on these pages and on the air in the past.

When a public school teacher, man or woman (usually women in these situations) is the victim of ongoing, violent, domestic abuse, should they be required to notify their school management that they are at risk?

They are in classrooms filled with our children, after all. I could ask this question about private employers also, but that would have to be a decision of the ownership. In this case, the public school teacher works for us and has a room full of our kids in her charge.

I first asked this question after a double murder-suicide of two educators in the Tampa, Florida area a few months back. The estranged husband of one of the victims murdered his ex-wife and her girlfriend at their residence, not at their place of employment, a local middle school. But he could have, and they knew it. He had a previous conviction and was well-known to local law enforcement. They were prepared for his violence by owning and training with firearms to defend themselves and had to know he could have shown up at the school.

School Guns
How would I have reacted finding out after the fact that both of them were victims of ongoing, violent domestic abuse? I can tell you. I would have been livid.

Thankfully he didn’t, but the incident prompted me to ask some questions as a parent of two middle schoolers myself. How would I have reacted to the murder of my child's math teacher and the school principal if my son or daughter was a student in that teacher's classroom? How would I have reacted finding out after the fact that both of them were victims of ongoing, violent domestic abuse? I can tell you. I would have been livid.

Queue San Bernardino a few days ago. Another teacher a victim of violent domestic abuse by a man with a history of such activity and known to law enforcement as such. In this case, her killer went to the school to take out his rage. An innocent child was murdered in the process. Did the parents know she was under this horrible threat? Did her employer, in this case, another public school operating with taxpayer funds, know about her situation? Again, I could ask this about any employer. How would you like to know the cubicle next to you is inhabited by a person who has three protective orders out against a violent ex-husband known to law-enforcement to be dangerous and has a history of acting on his threats? Would you be concerned?

Of course in both of these cases and the hypothetical example of the private employer, the easiest answer seems to be allowing these victims to carry a gun while at work. While this might seem like a simple solution, it doesn’t take into consideration that none of us want a gunfight breaking out in a classroom or meeting room if it can be avoided.

Situations like these, to me, beg the question that I seem to be the only one asking, should these educators have been in the classroom at all under, what hindsight has told us, were very dangerous conditions? Should they have been put on administrative paid leave until they can show that their unfortunate situation is resolved?

No private employer is going to put up with an employee who visibly brings their personal troubles to the office every day. I know good folks who have lost their jobs as a result of the chaos in their private lives and I’ve been the owner and the man who let them go. It happens. Believe me, I understand the right to privacy but I’m asking the question here and now, does that right to privacy end when you’re a public employee at a school and children might be affected? One Armed American Radio listener sent me this after an on-air discussion of the topic:

Dear Mark,

I'd like to offer another perspective on the teacher shooting and a rebuttal to Michael's email. Privacy? Not if you are working in the public sector. You are, in a sense the property of the taxpayer. I work in the public sector, and we have something called the Freedom of Information Act, anything I do, is subject to public scrutiny. We have to disclose a lot of information, and background checks do occur even after hire. We have been told that we should have no expectation of privacy ( as public sector employees)

So, the BIG DIFFERENCE here is that teacher and principal (the school for that matter) being under the employ of the taxpayer are answerable to the taxpayer. So, in addition to the moral imperative of being responsible for children, HELL YEAH they should have put them on paid leave. That said, public schools forget this (sic) too often who they work for and who they are answerable to, but that's another topic for another show.

Again, I’m not answering the question while I think this through and talk to others about it, but the question itself is legitimate. Think about it and offer your thoughts. Send me an email to [email protected] and provide your comments here. I’ll be reading the best ones on an upcoming broadcast.


About Mark Walters

Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio's Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)

  • 25 thoughts on “Danger of Domestic Violence Victims Working In Schools

    1. “When a public school teacher, man or woman (usually women in these situations) is the victim of ongoing, violent, domestic abuse, should they be required to notify their school management that they are at risk?”

      The above question (for me) is short sighted, by that I mean, why limit that concept to just a subset? The above concept/practice ‘could’ and ‘should’ be employed by and for entity/everyone with a capacity –of a specified minimal amount of human occupants– within a specified square footage: something to that effect. To look closer, or deeper, at this ‘domestic violence’ incident named above, if this was a previously reported case of ‘domestic violence’, perhaps the legislative body may want to look at how this was missed during the employment/employee background check; as well as how many others are in existence = a current –ticking ‘domestic violence’ time-bomb–.

      Edit where needed …

      1. “Edit where needed …
        Where exactly would one begin to edit that unintelligible mess. Nuke it from orbit and start anew just to be sure, I guess.

    2. The very first thing that I thought after enough info on this incident was out out was……why did the teacher “not” let the school administraton personel know of her marital situation? Had they known she had become estranged from her husband, and that he was prone to violence, the moment that he showed up at the school office they could have taken steps to keep him from going to her classroom. They could have informed him that he would have to wait outside the school building and they would notify her that he was there and wanted to see her.

      At that point they could have asked the wife if she felt that he was a danger, then taken appropriate measures. Notify local Police, notify the school resource officer (if they had one), etc. The man should have never been allowed to go to the classroom. I actually think that schools should have a policy that spouses of teachers that come to the school should be required to meet with them in the administration area, and not in the teachers classroom. That at least would help keep the children themselves safer in case the visiting person has nefarious intentions.

    3. If you expect victims of serious domestic violence to quarantine themselves, you’re going to see about 25% of women (and 14% of the 4 men) vanish. (NSVIS 2010).

      Your essay is smug BS but at least the above is a consequence of what following your suggestion might look like.

      1. Two major issues with your statistics as presented:

        1) How was “domestic violence” defined in that study? Some “domestic violence” laws are so poorly worded that mere shouting can qualify, even in the absence of any physical violence or threats of the same.

        2) The question posed by the author is about those who are victims on “ongoing, violent, domestic abuse” – “ongoing” being the key word. The statistic you cite is women who have been a victim at some point in their lives.

        And there’s nothing smug about the article. Given that we expect schools to run background checks on their employees in order to protect the children entrusted to their care, it’s perfectly legitimate to question whether schools ought to be informed (and possibly take action) if a situation in an employee’s personal life is putting the children at risk of physical violence.

        1. I was an abused wife so I know how ambivalent one’s emotions can be but really, if you have some sort of restraining order against your abuser it’s only fair to let your employer know. As for the privacy issue, if you are in danger your colleagues are in danger and they have a right to know.

    4. While this might seem like a simple solution, it doesn’t take into consideration that none of us want a gunfight breaking out in a classroom or meeting room if it can be avoided.

      well, a gunfight DID break out in this woman’s classroom. So that’s no longer an issue. If she had been armed, the instant she saw HIM entering, she could/should have drawn down on him.

      Can’t remember whether he was under a no contact or protective order… if so, the school staff SHOULD have known. The accounts I ve read have the school office staff recognising him as he entered, he calimed he had something to leave with her.. which he did. One round out of the business end of his handgun. Had staf KNOWN there was a protective order, they coiuld likely have stopped him. Or perhaps locked down the schol before he got to her classroom.

      1. Wrong! A “gunfight” did not break out in this woman’s classroom. Words have meanings.
        noun: gunfight; plural noun: gunfights
        a fight involving an exchange of fire with guns.

    5. I agree that notification would be a nice idea, but I doubt it will happen. Here’s why. Background – my wife is a counselor in a battered women’s shelter so this info comes from her.

      Most victims of domestic abuse are being controlled (browbeaten, intimidated, shamed, etc.) to the point that most think THEY are the problem, not their abuser. Most will try to leave (on average) 7 times before they make it stick. The first few times they run off and stay with a friend or run home to mom. The 3rd or 4th time they MIGHT end up at the shelter. If they have visible bruises, or if they were really scared of permanent injury/death they may take out a protective order – AFTER the 4th or 5th time they try to leave. Of those that make it to a shelter or seek professional counseling, they STILL go back to their abuser (or find a new one, because that’s what they think a “man” should be) 3 more times (again, on average) before they finally break the cycle.

      In other words, while it’s possible this victim had made a clean break and was ready to inform the school (in fact, higher likelyhood and that’s what pushed him over the edge) it’s also possible that she was still YEARS from admitting to herself that she had a problem, let alone to her employer.

      The responsible person KNOWS they are responsible for their own safety. They avoid dangerous situations. They seek self defense training. They get a carry permit and a handgun. These people are the ones that beat the average (and thus pull it down) by leaving an abuser at the first threat. Unfortunately they’re also the ones likely to take the responsibility to take a leave of absence. Unfortunately, we already know the education establishment (not speaking of any specific teachers here, just the general political mindset) is at the OTHER end of spectrum when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions.

      1. I wish I could say your information was wrong or ill-informed, but I can’t. I wish just add some comment’s to what I wrote “Regardless of the law, the teacher should have made the school aware of the situation . . . ‘ Note MBH said “should” not would or will, and let us not even go down the rabbit hole of the mindset of the education establishment. In a perfect or better world what I suggested will able to happen and not be fought tooth and nail by the education establishment. I think we can both agree that my suggesting such a policy shift as instigating actions by teachers or by a school district suggesting such actions would create howls of protest from all around the planet by the left.

    6. Regardless of the law, the teacher should have made the school aware of the situation so the faculty and staff could be on alert. That would have been the unselfish act.

      1. The principle, the staff and the local PD at a minimum. They are all involved in mitigating the situation. There should be an armed School Resource Officer at a minimum to deal with the threat. This is where a Gun Free Zone falls down hard! The individual should be granted a pistol permit without delay if requested. Obviously I believe the “victim” should be allowed to carry in the school as well as any licensed concealed carriers who visit the school. Which brings up any other permit holders that might be employees onsite, they should be allowed to carry as well. I don’t believe this will stop the special kind of idiot that is a violent domestic abuser, but it might stop him from killing anyone else.

    7. Well, I agree that they should be required to notify the employer (us in essence) or the school administrators and here is why. Youre correct, they do work for us and have children in their charge fisrt off.
      Second, and I am going to use the lefts logic against them, they are bringing a potentially deadly object (situation) to an area where your children are, and I say your children because mine, thankfully, are grown and dont have to deal with public schools.
      If the spouse, man or woman, has a documented history of acting on threats of violence the employee who fails to notify the proper persons they should be charged with a felony if they survive the attack.
      I feel like an ass for saying that but its what I believe, so, maybe I dont feel like an ass.

    8. “Livid” for anger. “Lived” for what you do with your life. Spell check won’t catch this one.
      This is one of numerous reasons that a growing number of parents are home schooling their kids. The progressives have killed the schools.

      1. Nothing to do with “home Schooling’ or “public education” and more of an instance when the right hand/finger is faster than the left hand/finger; Take a look at your key board and which finger hits the “E” and which finger hits the “I”. Unfortunately, when I type the letter following a capital sometimes ends up being capitalized too, brain is faster than a finger I guess.

    9. And we still have jackasses who think the Clinton – Reno gun free zones are appropriate. We can’t fix stupid.

    10. I think this comes down to personal responsibility. These individuals new they were at risk apparently. Therefore, continuing to teach put their students at risk also. Legally, they may not be forced out of the classroom; morally, they should do it on their own. I know that seems harsh but the death of an innocent child seems harsher to me. Liberals will not address the real issue, they will again attack the firearm.

    11. In regards to “a gunfight breaking out in a classroom.” I would rather that occur than a slaughter take place. The teacher should at least be required to inform if it reaches the level of a Protection order being issued. That is generally when things go down hill quickly.

      1. Probably the first thing that came into my mind with this event was what kind of access control had they implemented at that school?

        I know at my kid’s school, I can check in at the office, but I don’t get to roam unescorted through the place. Even without knowing the current state of their relationship, an employee’s spouse is not an employee and should at LEAST be subjected to the same controls a parent is. At least for me, the school operates on the assumption that your ability to shoot out a kid and reside within a geographic area doesn’t make you a safe person, just one that must be interacted with absent a court order against such. Having married faculty or staff shouldn’t even elevate you to that level. Page the employee and keep them in the office.

    12. Would anybody still support something even though it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court nearly a decade ago?

    13. I have thinking about it and here are my thoughts. ‘I would have been lived’? Is that any relation to being livid? P.S. Public employees ‘property of the taxpayer’? Nope; slavery was abolished years ago.

      1. If that is the case, then you must agree that the Government cannot force us to send our children to their classrooms, or take taxpayer money to pay their salaries without our express consent… If you are going to argue the slavery card, then it goes both ways.

        There is a reason the term “Public Servant” exists. It has nothing to do with slavery, but instead refers to a person who places themselves in servitude to the masses for a higher purpose. This is supposed to mean that a teacher Is beneath the parents who’s kids she is purporting to educate, and should be subservient to them as opposed to indoctrinating their children against them. It means that a Senator or Representative is not a position or title of honor, but one of servitude where they are beneath even the lowliest plumber or grocery clerk. The majority of American’s today do not understand our system of governance as it was understood two hundred years ago. In public sector (Meaning Government) jobs, they are supposed to work for us. It’s not slavery.

        I feel sorry for you. You may have good intentions, but the chains of slavery that you are forging through your political opinions do not only affect you. They affect everyone else in this country including those who have yet to be born, and in the end you will be held accountable either to history or to the Creator if you happen to be of religious persuasion. Good intentions do not excuse or eliminate wrongdoing.

        PS~ pretty sure the article spelled “livid” with two i’s both in print and in the photo caption.

          1. Thank you, but it really had nothing to do with articulation at all. Just simple truth and reading our nations founding documents along with the Founders’ writings on the subject as they wrote them. It’s pretty plain english, but far to many people try to twist it and ignore evidence to try and fit their own interpretation.

            For example the question of slavery outlined above. In this case, under consensual employment, that case could not be made as I pointed out and explained. Yet there are people currently trying to argue that healthcare is a “Right.” The problem there is that if healthcare is a “Right”, it must be provided for both in terms of care and monetary dispensation. To do this, you can mandate or conscript employment into the medical care field thereby removing choice. In terms of the monetary cost, using taxpayer dollars from one individual to cover those of another means that a person is being forced to work to provide money that is not for their own benefit. Both are cases that constitute the legal definition of slavery, but you won’t hear the people who bring up the claim of slavery regarding public servants talk about those issues because they are generally the ones for big government and controlling peoples’ wallets.

            Like I said, Simple..

            God Bless

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