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Jackson County Educator Dismissed for Having Gun at School

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posted on May, 18 2010 @ 11:52 AM
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JACKSON COUNTY, AL - The Jackson County Board of Education held an emergency meeting Monday morning after learning a school employee brought a gun to school.

The Board of Education terminated the contract this morning of Monte Gant, the director of the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology, the county's technical school.
Source: www.whnt.com...

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 education program.

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 contract.

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.
Source: www.ago.alabama.gov...

Federal Law:

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.
Source: codes.lp.findlaw.com...

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;
Source: codes.lp.findlaw.com...

This exception does indeed cover Mr. Gant.

The rabbit hole goes deeper. while researching this, I found the following Alabama Code:

§ 11-45-1.1

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 ordinance.
Source: www.ago.alabama.gov...

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 Legislature.

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.

TheRedneck




posted on May, 18 2010 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


I am in Florida. I recently got permission to carry my gun on State Government property while I am at work. I am the 2nd one that I am aware of with such permission. The state law is vague about whether guns are allowed on government property, and the department's regulations say that it requires approval from a supervisor. Luckily my supervisor was the 1st one to get permission. Her husband is a Highway Patrolman and she (like me) was carrying all along anyway.

After the IRS building attack in TX, some state officials wanted to know how many people were carrying weapons at work. Most people were afraid to be honest, but my supervisor and I spoke right up.

HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART:
After the State's attorneys reviewed my request they decided that there was no "legal" reason to deny my request and that doing so may set the state up for liability in the future. Therefore my request was granted!



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 07:08 PM
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So why exactly do we want people carrying guns in school? I'm strongly pro-2nd, but I can't wait to see this logic.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 07:31 PM
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Originally posted by PatesHatriots
So why exactly do we want people carrying guns in school? I'm strongly pro-2nd, but I can't wait to see this logic.


Columbine . . . Va Tech.

Crazy gunment can't be predicted or prevented, but they can be stopped in their tracks before a tragedy ensues.

Remember the Va Tech professor that stood in a doorway giving his own life while his students went out a window? Wouldn't it have been better if he was armed?



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 07:43 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


So these one in a million events are the reason to be armed amongst children? And nothing says protection like crossfire. Not to mention if the SHTF in one of those environments, I don't think I'd want untrained civilians trying to rambo on twelve year olds.

[edit on 18-5-2010 by PatesHatriots]



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by PatesHatriots
 


Good Points, but these events are all too common. Only the pretty white kids make nationwide news, but the violence happens daily. FSU lost a Grad student to 3 escaped convicts in the past month. This week there have been home invasion rapes of junior high and high school girls in their homes in nice neighborhoods but likely connected to a local school.

There is an enormous amount of risk for kids in public schools these days, especially public schools in large cities.

As for the wannabe Rambos, they scare me as much as they do you. My solace comes from experience. Those people that would openly apply for authorization to carry at work, and have gone through the proper channels for permitting, and have bought the proper equipment to carry concealed in a comfortable manner, and feel a responsibility to carry a weapon in defense of themselves or others, are typically well-trained and responsibile people.

I have carried a gun for 15 years and it has never had to be unholstered or even exposed. I have been in violent confrontations where i did not feel the need to mention my gun. I have been in tense standoffs where I believe that my calm confidence and authoritative approach defused situations without violence. I believe 100% that my concealed weapon has prevented a lot of violence in my 15 years just by my knowledge that it was there as a last resort!

[edit on 18-5-2010 by getreadyalready]



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 08:28 PM
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reply to post by PatesHatriots

This story is still breaking, and one important piece of information came out today.

“We received a threat — a serious threat back seven months ago from a convicted felon that said he was going to come up and take care of everybody on campus,” Gant alleges.
Source: www.thedailysentinel.com...

Are you still in favor of making sure no one can stop him if he carries out that threat?

Gant is reported as being on paid administrative leave at this time, as opposed to earlier reports that his contract was summarily dismissed. I have a petition for his reinstatement drawn up and ready to distribute.

TheRedneck



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Good Info! Thanks Redneck.

Only my superiors at work are aware of my approval to carry. They actually seemed relieved that I was going to carry. I work for the Department of Revenue, and we get daily threats! The idea that calling police and waiting 5 to 15 minutes while a gunman is on a rampage, and then another period of time while the responding officers sort out the situation, surround the area and decide who the bad guy is, does not sound very comforting to many of us.

Most people at my work have no idea that I am armed, but from casual conversation I know that many people are in favor of it, and many people are likely carrying as well, just without official approval.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Hello, I am a student at the school mentioned above, Earnest Pruett Center of Technology. Mr. Gant has been my intructor/principal for two years now. I created this account just to express my opinion of his termination of career regarding to this previous week's events. Monte Gant is a very trustworthy, intelligent individual. He has never harmed or threatened any child in his time in Jackson County, Alabama. I trust him with my life, and I am not the only one. Each student here feels the same way. Mr. Gant, and his father Cecil Gant I might add, have done nothing but put our education and technology school as their top priority. His father and he has even helped students going to state level competitions. We all consider the Gant family as a great important needed necesity here. There are many students who have felt betrayed and hurt by our govermental system that has taken him away from us. He was very proffesional and perfect for his job through our eyes. He enforced the safety of our students and lost his job over it. Even with knowing there was a firearm in his office, I still feel the same safety and security with him. I have had thoughts about get a petition going around collecting signatures to re-enforce his job here. Though if i cannot, Each principal has enourmous and outstanding shoes to fulfill. No person can ever replace the talent and great accomplishments Monte Gant has left and engraved at our school. I feel it sad and pathetic that one of the best principals has lost his whole career due to procedures that secured my school. No one will ever be greater than Monte Gant. Come to our school, and I gaurantee any student will either repeat or continue my gratitude for him. Mr. Gant made most of everything possible at our school. We were blessed to have had him the years we did. If possible, look at this situation through the eyes of a Health Occupational Students of America student at EPCOT. Monte Gant treated us with outmost respect, and we wish nothing but to have him returned to our technology school, where he belongs. Thank you for your time and attention.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 08:54 PM
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reply to post by jackson_hosa
 


WOW! Welcome to ATS, and nice first post!
A worthy subject, a first hand account, and an articulate defense of your principle.

My advice, take that same vigor and make sure that your opinion gets posted into your local paper, editorials, the school paper. Find like-minded students and organize. Hold a vigil before or after schools, don't get in any trouble, but show your support publicly.

Call your local news station and let them know that a group of students is concerned for the principle, and let them give him some positive press.

Welcome Again!



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 09:10 PM
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Thank you very much for the advice.
And I will see what I can do and keep you updated to the outcome. And if Mr. Gant can lose his job and future career over me, I'm sure getting into some mild trouble for him would be nothing. I'd rather my education get taken away then his job.



posted on May, 18 2010 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by jackson_hosa

Thank you!

Not only for a shining confirmation of my experiences with the man, but also for your demonstration of what makes EPCOT special. Your first post on ATS was more eloquent than some adult posters can produce after being here years.


THIS, people, is what a little common sense and the right people behind the desk can produce: intelligent, capable members of society. This is the legacy of Earnest Pruett and Monte Gant.

Son, good luck in your endeavors and be aware that I am personally taking an interest in this case. As mentioned above, I have petitions drawn up; I have already submitted editorial comments to the Daily Sentinel; I have a larger editorial ready for submission to the Progress; I am trying to get some interest from the Huntsville Times; and there are other avenues I can take if none of those make a difference.

I will not sit idly by and let this man you admire be railroaded with an illegal policy in order to further a political career at the expense of the students. Neither should you; speak up every chance you get, and tell the people what kind of man Monte Gant is. You have an ally in this fight; know that.

And welcome to ATS!


TheRedneck



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 

TheRedneck:

I just want to say thank you for your support during this ordeal. I can live with the fact that learning that a school board policy was broken. I COULD NOT live with the fact that ONLY ONE student or teacher was allowed to be slaughtered, while I sat there throwing pencils at the gunman or gunmen. AS you know, Jackson County has NO School Resource Officers. This places school administrators in a HUGE dilemma. Either protect, or don't protect. There were a lot of underlying factors which led to the gun becoming public knowledge, that we won't discuss on this board, but I want everyone here to know that there was a VERY SERIOUS THREAT made to the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology's student body, faculty and staff, by a known convicted felon, with nothing to lose (according to his son) and that a choice had to be made: to be prepared for the worst, or to simply expect the best. LIVES were and should ALWAYS be our TOP PRIORITY. Choosing to bring a means of protection for everyone involved at EPCOT was not an easy decision to make. Deciding to tell the two people who were told, where to find the gun and how to use it, should Mr. Gant be gunned down, away from his office, was an even tougher decision. Especially, knowing that they were involved in a group that was against Mr. Gant being Director at EPCOT, even before his becoming director of the school. Gant chose to protect regardless. One of those persons was promoted a couple of months ago, and is no longer at EPCOT. One or both of the two back-stabbers may have opened themselves up to some problems of their own, since they have known where the gun was for approximately eight months and have not taken any action until two weeks before the Jackson County Democratic Primary, where Cecil Gant, Monte's father will run for Jackson County Board of Education, District 2.

One of Cecil Gant's TOP PRIORITIES will be to protect each and every student, faculty and staff member in Jackson County Schools, by seeing that fully trained school resource officers are on duty at all times, during hours of operation. I know for a fact that HE HAS already began to work on making this a reality, and he hasn't even been elected yet!

The good citizens of Jackson County need to do their part by getting the truth out there to the public, quickly. (We have heard that a couple of current board members are constructing lies about this incident to try to gain political momentum. THEY ARE WORRIED!!! THEY SHOULD BE!!!!)

PLEASE GET BEHIND MONTE AND CECIL GANT, IF YOU ARE READY FOR CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, CONCERNING THE TYPE OF EDUCATION THAT OUR KIDS IN JACKSON COUNTY RECEIVE.

If Cecil Gant is elected to the Jackson County Board of Education, other school administrators won't find themselves boxed into the same corner that Monte found himself in, and having to choose: my students, or my job. They can concentrate on bettering other areas of their school. In other words, doing what they get paid to do!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Now, get the truth out there!


[edit on 23-5-2010 by CLOSE TO EPCOT DIRECTOR]

[edit on 23-5-2010 by CLOSE TO EPCOT DIRECTOR]

[edit on 23-5-2010 by CLOSE TO EPCOT DIRECTOR]

[edit on 23-5-2010 by CLOSE TO EPCOT DIRECTOR]

[edit on 23-5-2010 by CLOSE TO EPCOT DIRECTOR]



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by jackson_hosa
 


Young man or young lady:

You'll never know what your words mean to me! YOU ARE WHAT WE TRY SO HARD TO PRODUCE AT EPCOT! I am so very proud of all of you at EPCOT, and there's ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I COULD LET A CRAZED GUNMAN STEAL YOU AWAY FROM YOUR PARENTS AND ME, while being helpless! As you know, it has always been my belief to treat all students as they were my own kids. YOU ARE! YOU ARE THE REASON I have always dreamed of being director at the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology. But if that means risking the people that I love most, just to hang on to that dream, then it's not for me. I CAN NOT AND WILL NOT intentionally place you in harm's way for any reason! Know that I love you and am missing you daily! We'll get through this and get this changed! Cecil Gant on Tuesday, June 1! Spread it all across the county and have everyone you know and even those you don't know, to do the same. CHANGE FOR THE BETTER IS COMING A WEEK FROM TUESDAY!!! DRIVE IT HOME!!!!!! I want to see every student from EPCOT (A.M. and P.M.) in victory lane at the courthouse. Please spread the word! Again, let me say thank you and that I love you all. Please pass that on for me. Also tell every senior that I said congratulations! The current superintendent and board members have banned me from school property, so I'll miss all graduations, even my daughter's.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 08:23 AM
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reply to post by CLOSE TO EPCOT DIRECTOR
 


Good Luck!


Again, the legal department for my state agency decided that it was more risky to deny my application to carry at work than it was to approve it!

I am allowed to carry on state property, while at work, because our legal department was afraid of any ramifications of saying no. Namely, lawsuits, and liability if anything happened. My department also receives daily threats of violence, but they are usually non-specific, so it sounds like your specific and credible threat was plenty of reason to carry a weapon, and it sounds like they have violated your rights and set themselves up for a lot of liability.

Good luck with your endeavor. I think you made a mistake in providing access to your weapon to anybody that you did not trust with your life, but I think your intentions were 100% on point, and I wish you well!



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by PatesHatriots
So why exactly do we want people carrying guns in school? I'm strongly pro-2nd, but I can't wait to see this logic.


Really? I find that dubious.

Scenarios like Columbine should be a logical enough reason.



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