I went to the meeting this morning and it went VERY well. It was short and sweet because the principal was very aware of the laws and our right to carry on school grounds, open or concealed, with a permit. His only concern is that it does not create too much of a disruption of school activities. Here is my facebook post about it (copied and pasted)...
So, I went to Principal Emerson's office (open carrying, for those who were wondering) and we both sat down. He asked how I would like to start, so I asked him to tell me about the complaints that he received. He said that a couple of moms had seen me carrying my gun on the grounds and they told one of the teachers that there is a "man with a gun" on the school grounds. The teacher then went to the principal and told him about the complaint. (But the teacher showed no concern about it.) That’s when the principal called me yesterday to address the issue.
He then said that he is fully aware of my rights and the laws, which specifically exempt permit holders from gun-free school zones (big tumbs-up to the principal for actually knowing that stuff. A lot of school administrators don’t), but he asked if I would be willing to just carry my gun discreetly. I told him that the way I currently carry my gun is already discreet enough for me and that, if any more people complain about me, I will be willing to explain the laws and the Bill of Rights to them, but I will not change the way I carry a gun just because someone else doesn’t like it. I also told him that the offended parents can put their kids in private school if they don’t want them in a place where firearms are allowed.
At that point, he stayed very polite and calm (we both did), but he said, “You need to understand that sometimes, people see a gun and they automatically think that you’re going to kill people just because you have it.” I shared with him the old saying, “Women have the tools to be prostitutes, but that doesn’t mean they actually are,” and I explained that it’s the same with guns. I told him that guns can be used to stop violent crimes and that if all the adults in the school would carry one, things like the Columbine or Virginia Tech shootings would not be possible because the armed good guys and gals could stop it quickly. Sure, there may still be deaths on the good side because it would probably be a surprise, but the death count would not be into the 30’s, like it was at Virginia Tech. I also told him that because of these types of shootings that have happened in schools, I am not willing to stop carrying a gun on the grounds or give in, even by an inch, on how I carry it, but I am happy to explain the second amendment the statutes of Utah to anyone who would like to hear it.
Then, I suggested that the best way to resolve this issue that came up yesterday and to prevent similar issues in the future is to inform the entire staff that my actions were legal. That way, if another complaint arises, the teacher who hears it can simply inform the parent that guns are allowed on the grounds, open or concealed, and that no action is necessary. He thought that was a good idea and he said that he will bring it up in the next faculty meeting.
Overall, the meeting went very well and it was calm and friendly the entire time. I really admire Principal Emerson for being so well-informed on the laws and for being so understanding of the fact that my actions are perfectly legal and that there is really nothing that the school staff can do about them. In the end, we shook hands and parted as friends. The school’s staff will all be informed of the legality of open carry and I will continue to open carry at the school.