Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Tamaqua armed teacher policy
Tamaqua Area School District’s controversial policy to arm teachers is on hold as the district defends it in court.
This week the policy survived one of those legal challenges, pending appeals.
A Schuylkill County judge this week dismissed a challenge brought by the Tamaqua Area Education Association seeking to block the policy.
The judge issued his order on Monday. The union has 20 days to appeal the decision, according to published reports.
The school board suspended Policy 705 last month after two suits were filed.
The district teachers’ union says in a suit that state law already has a framework for putting armed security in schools, and further states that the lethal weapons training program can’t be used for government employees.
The other suit, brought by school district parents who are opposed to the policy, is still pending in Schuylkill County Court. That suit alleges that the board intentionally passed the policy in secret.
Neither suit sought monetary damages.
The board member who came up with Policy 705, Nick Boyle, has said the district does not have the money to pay to have police officers in the school, and that the Parkland Fla. school shooting showed that armed officers in school are not always effective.
Policy 705 allows teachers to volunteer to be trained to carry weapons in school during class time. Teachers would be trained under the state’s Lethal Weapons Training Program and be authorized to use force up to and including deadly force in situations where necessary, such as an active shooter.