JACKSON COUNTY, AL - The Jackson County Board of Education held an emergency meeting Monday morning after learning a school employee brought a gun
The Board of Education terminated the contract this morning of Monte Gant, the director of the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology, the county's
This is the local technical school where my son attends. I know this man Monte Gant. In all my years, I don't think I have ever met a more concerned,
sincere, and dedicated educator. The Earnest Pruitt Center for Technology is well-respected in the tri-state area for turning out the most
well-prepared and adept tradesmen available. The school has a placement success rate of 98% after graduation. It is the epitome of a successful
All this is due to the instructors and the Director and their tireless work to keep the latest equipment available and to foster contacts with the
businesses around here. Even NASA has a program where the students actually perform work for NASA to become familiar with on-the-job experience and to
make contacts for future employment.
The entire situation is this: Earlier this year, Mr. Gant had to discipline a student (I do not know yet why) and he was then visited by the
student's parents. The parents were so irate and angry that they threatened the school with physical retaliation. Mr. Gant took the threat seriously
and began keeping a loaded pistol in a secure place in his office, an office which is locked unless he is in it. He is licensed to carry a concealed
weapon in Jackson County. Then a short time back, he had to threaten to discipline one of the instructors (again, I do not yet know what for). This
instructor found out through word of mouth that Mr. Gant was keeping a loaded pistol in his office and reported him to the Board of Education (sour
grapes?). The Board called the Sheriff department and had Mr. Gant removed from the premises, then convened an emergency meeting to terminate his
Even more interesting is that Monte Gant's father, Cecil Gant, is a candidate for the Board of Education this year.
Monte says he broke no laws, only a policy he was not aware he was breaking. I checked his story out. Alabama Law, §13A-11-72:
Subject to the exceptions provided by Section 13A-11-74, no person shall knowingly with intent to do bodily harm carry or possess a deadly weapon
on the premises of a public school.
18 USC §922(q)(2)(A)
It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a
place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
That does make it illegal to carry a firearm in a school zone; however there are stated exceptions to this, such as:
18 USC §922(q)(2)(B)(iii)
Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the
school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual
obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to
receive the license;
This exception does indeed cover Mr. Gant.
The rabbit hole goes deeper. while researching this, I found the following Alabama Code:
No incorporated municipality shall have the power to enact any ordinance, rule, or regulation which shall tax, restrict, prevent, or in any way affect
the possession or ownership of handguns by the citizens of this state. The entire subject matter of handguns is reserved to the State Legislature.
This section shall not be construed to limit or restrict the power of a municipality to adopt ordinances which make the violation of a state handgun
law a violation of a municipal ordinance to the same extent as other state law violations, or to limit or restrict the power of a municipal court to
exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the district court over violations of state handgun laws which may be prosecuted as breaches of a municipal
It appears to me that this is exactly what the Jackson County Board of Education is doing: regulating handgun use in excess of the Alabama
In short, this is a travesty that a man who has devoted a lifetime to protecting children is now unemployed because of his protection, while an
instructor who required threats of disciplinary action is still employed. Also, the parents who initially threatened the school are of course getting
off scot free.
Many of you know I have been conspicuously absent lately. This is due to a seriously hectic workload of things that I have to accomplish here. I have
interrupted that workload in order to pursue this case. There is no greater asset to society than our children, and this decision is not only illegal,
but endangers the children as well by removing any real protection they may have had from any attack against the school.
As well, political change happens not from the top down, but from the bottom up. Perhaps it is time this old redneck crawled out from under his rock
to challenge the illogical, perverted thinking that is threatening my children and the children of every parent in this area.
So, perhaps my absence will be a bit longer than I had anticipated... some things cannot go unchallenged.