Some officials in Illinois are apparently not pleased that stickers being posted at schools around the state feature an image of a firearm — even though the gun also has a red slash through it.
Under concealed carry laws recently passed in Illinois, schools, churches, government agencies and liquor stores are required to post 4-by-6 inch stickers informing gun owners they can’t carry a firearm on the property. These are considered “gun-free zones.”
But school officials are objecting, not to the gun-free zones, but to the “bothersome” stickers that they say could be alarming or confusing to some people.
“One of my biggest concerns as a principal is safety and security,” Tinley Park High School Principal Theresa Nolan told the Southtown Star. “It is bothersome to have to post a sticker of a gun that says, ‘Hey, folks, leave your guns at home.’ “
Though she says she’s not firmly against posting the signs, Nolan said she is worried that some might not understand or misinterpret the message they are sending.
“I think the general public will be alarmed by it and wonder if people have been allowed to bring guns to school in the past,” she added.
The principal also suggested that a more “subtle” image be used, rather than a gun. Perhaps a “logo,” she said.
Tinley Park Associate Principal Randy Couwenhoven said the stickers are a reminder to gun owners, an “audience that should already know this.”
Further, District 123 Superintendent Paul Enderle told the newspaper that the stickers aren’t “necessarily what you’d want on a school building,” but “it correlates with the law, and I think if it ultimately helps to keep schools safe, that’s the objective.”
Community High School District 218 Superintendent John Byrne said the image of the gun can be frightening, but added that he supports the initiative if it “keeps the world safer.”
“We don’t want schools to become like airports but we should make some reasonable efforts. If it’s reasonable to tell people this is a safe, no-gun zone, then we’ll do it,” he said.
Read the Southtown Star’s full report here.