Wednesday night, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz welcomed a grade-school teacher from Utah, who talked about the possibility of carrying a gun into the classroom. A concealed gun, that is: The teacher, Carolyn Cain, said that neither the students nor the parents of her pupils needed to know about it.That whole dynamic, it was clear, bothered Schultz. But he didn’t explode at Cain, a soft-spoken and polite educator. Instead, he just kept the story alive, with a Thursday night segment on the same topic. Cain’s comments, in particular, cried out for a response from someone in Utah officialdom.
Enter Rhonda Bromley, spokeswoman for the Alpine County school district, who essentially confirmed Cain’s story to Schultz: “We follow the state law, which says that if someone does have a concealed firearm permit, they are allowed to have a weapon with them.” When asked whether a lot of teachers carry firearms, Bromley responded, “We don’t know because as part of the law, they do need to keep that concealed, and that includes not letting people know at the school that they have that. It’s not something that administrators require employees to share that information. It’s not something that the teachers or the employees should be talking with their students about. It’s supposed to be concealed. That includes being physically not seen by the students, but also they shouldn’t be talking about it with people.”
Schultz asked if there’s a moral question here — do parents have a right to know? Bromley thereupon earned her salary as a public official: “Well, obviously there are different opinions … on that,” she said.
Alpine County parent Bill McGee didn’t approve of the nondisclosure: “That bothers me a lot. … They simply don’t have the training needed to respond to a high-pressure situation in any kind of meaningful way. … If a scenario came up, they’re just going to compound the problem. And I would rather my children had a teacher who was focused on teaching instead of being an armed vigilante.”