Could new bill prevent students from bringing gun to KC schools? - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Debate rages over bill to require parents to tell schools about guns


A proposed law in Missouri would require parents to tell their child's school if they have a gun in the home.

The issue became a real-life scare when three students reported seeing a gun in a fellow student's backpack last week at Hogan Preparatory Academy in Kansas City.

A few parents also called in, and those reports turned out to be true.

"Within 30 minutes, we went from rumor to the kid was being handled by the Kansas City Police Department," said Hogan Preparatory Academy Superintendent Dr. Danny Tipton.

The 14-year-old boy had taken the handgun from his grandfather's house. He told police he was feeling threatened. The gun was for his protection.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, introduced a bill that would require parent or guardian to notify a school district, or the governing body of a private or charter school, that he or she owns a firearm.

Under Senate Bill 124, failure to tell the school would result in up to a $100 fine.

"We want the school district to be able to say, 'Ya know what, there are some really terrible things going on right now, and we need to be able to talk to the parent that we know they have a gun and make sure that there is security, that this gun is stored securely,'" Chappelle-Nadal said.

Tipton thinks her intent is probably good, but he is just not sure that is the answer.

"We would have known that the gun was in the house, but it doesn't mean he couldn't bring it to the school," he said.

Tipton thinks the key is building relationships with students and parents to encourage them to come forward.

"We have social workers in every one of our buildings, and we have counselors involved. If we have to get outside folks involved, we will do that. It is important for kids to know and understand that they have to tell an adult when they have a problem ... if you're feeling threatened tell someone before taking action into your own hands," he said.

And so far Tipton says his theory works, adding that it was proven just last week.

Another concern Tipton says is that he questions if school authorities or teachers would treat students differently, knowing there is a gun in the home.

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