By: Serena Crawford
Utah is one of the few states that allows teachers to have a concealed carry weapon with a permit on school grounds. The administrators in the school are not allowed to ask a teacher if they have a weapon on them and the teachers are not required to state whether they are carrying a gun or not. Michelle Montgomery of Salt Lake City decided to have her weapon on her one day and then she ended up having to make a plea deal because her weapon fired on school grounds.
Montgomery, a sixth grade teacher, was in the bathroom at the elementary school that she worked at. She told police that the gun had slipped out of her holster and fired but the truth was that it fired when she put it down on the toilet paper holder. The toilet that she hit ended up shattering causing fragments of porcelain to fly through the air. She had minor injuries from the situation. She was also very lucky that no children were in the room at the time.
After the gun incident Montgomery decided to resign from her job of 14 years at Westbrook Elementary School. She took a plea deal in court and paid a fine to fix the toilet for $200 and $750 for court fees. She will not face jail time for the misdemeanor charge as long as she stays out of trouble for a year. The law for concealed carries states that the weapon must stay on their body at all times which explains why she may have lied about how the gun misfired in the first place. The gun falling out of the holster and firing once it hit the ground would not be a far-fetched excuse however. In 2009 a Carl’s Jr customer went into the bathroom and when their gun fell from the holster it hit the ground, fired, and shattered the toilet.
Teachers having guns in school is a very controversial issue. Some people feel that it is necessary due to the recent rise in school shootings. Others feel that teachers carrying weapons are a huge liability issue because of incidents just like this one.