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Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The superintendent of an Arkansas school district that has already trained staff to act as armed guards told the Arkansas News Bureau Sunday that equipping school employees with guns is essential to security, citing a recent elementary school shooting in Georgia as evidence.
“What was shown in Atlanta is that regardless of the exterior measures … all the things you try to put in place, you really need that ultimate fail safe if someone really does get into your building with a firearm with the intent to destroy lives,” Clarksville School District Superintendent David Hopkins said. “You can feel good about your door locks and all these other things, but is that going to stand up and defend your kids? Obviously not. It didn’t work.”
The Clarksville district has trained 20 staff and teachers to act as armed security personnel, Hopkins told the Bureau, but the district is unable to arm the staff unless a state ruling against armed school employees is reversed.
The principal of the Georgia school where a shooter was talked down by a school employee last week told reporters this weekend he believes armed police should patrol elementary schools.
The principal of the Georgia school where a shooter was talked down by a school employee last week believes that armed police should patrol elementary schools, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription) reported Saturday.
Brian Bolden, the principal at McNair Discovery Learning Academy, told the paper hiring armed guards would prevent future school shootings.
"I think one of the reasons is that bad guys are realizing that good guys aren't in elementary schools — good guys who are armed," Bolden said.
United Nations chemical weapons inspectors in Syria reached the Damascus suburb where an alleged chemical gas attack killed 100 last week after an official vehicle was struck by sniper fire earlier Monday, Reuters reported.
The inspector team took samples from victims in suburban Mouadamiya, according to Reuters.
UN chemical inspectors in Syria returned safely to a government check-point after the team's first vehicle was shot at multiple times by sniper fire Monday, shortly after leaving Damascus to travel to the site of alleged chemical weapons attacks, the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general confirmed in a statement posted to the UN website.
Per the statement:
The Spokesperson for the Secretary-General has the following update on the UN Chemical Weapons Investigation Team in Damascus:
The first vehicle of the Chemical Weapons Investigation Team was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area.
As the car was no longer serviceable, the Team returned safely back to the Government check-point. The Team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle.
It has to be stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the Team can safely carry out their important work.
A 15-year-old girl was fatally shot Thursday when her brother, who is mentally disabled, thought he was playing with a toy gun in their home in St. Louis, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.
The girl's 20-year-old brother found a shotgun that had been spray-painted gold behind a dresser, left there by a family friend, St. Louis Police Lt. John Green told the Post Dispatch. The brother told police he did not realize the weapon was real, according to authorities.
Alicia Anderson died of a wound to the head, police said. The brother is in custody but prosecutors have not decided whether to file charges.
Federal authorities arrested six immigration activists who chained themselved to a gate and blocked a bus from leaving an immigration and detention facility in downtown Phoenix Wednesday night, AZ Central reported.
Yadira Garcia, a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant and Arizona State University graduate, was arrested after federal officers used bolt cutters to remove the logging chains that wrapped around her waist and attatched her to a gate at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility.
Garcia told AZ Central she was a little anxious about her decision to protest in this way, “but I'm fine with it because I know why I'm doing this and I believe in it.”The activists were connected to the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, an affiliate of United We Dream, according to a press release from the organization. All were released later that night.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit against the state of Indiana Thursday, claiming a new state law that targets a health clinic in Lafayette is unconstitutional, the Courier-Journal reports.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, and challenges Senate Enrolled Act 371, which expanded the definition of an “abortion clinic” to include a facility that provides an "abortion inducing drug" to terminate a pregnancy, even if the facility does not provide a surgical procedure.
The new law requires clinics offering the non-surgical procedure to comply with the same physical requirements as surgical facilities, which include separate procedure, recovery and scrub rooms. The clinic in Lafayette is the only facility in Indiana affected by the law.
“The laws irrationally and invidiously discriminate against PPINK [Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky],” Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, told the Courier-Journal. “and pose a significant and unnecessary burden that violates the Constitution’s guarantees of privacy, due process and equal protection.”
In an interview that aired Friday on CNN, President Barack Obama discussed the potential tragedy at a Georgia elementary school earlier this week, and the woman who is credited with preventing it.
Asked by "New Day" host Chris Cuomo about Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper who coolly talked down a 20-year-old alleged gunman at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga. before he was able to injure anyone, Obama said she was "remarkable" and might be invited to visit the White House.
"She was remarkable. I talked to her today," Obama said. "Because when I heard the 911 call and read the sequence of events, I thought here is somebody who is not just courage and not just cool under pressure, but also had enough heart that somehow she could convince somebody that was really troubled that she cared about and you know, I told her, I said that not only did she make Michelle and me proud but she probably saved a lot of lives, including the life of the potential perpetrator."
"I think we might have to have her for a visit to the White House," Obama said.
Watch below courtesy of CNN:
Clarification: This post has been updated to clarify that a shooting took place but no one was injured.