New gun laws creating questions for schools - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

New gun laws creating questions for schools

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DECATUR, Ala. (WZDX) - School is right around the corner in Decatur and teachers will start to prepare their classrooms.

And soon enough the lights will shine over football fields on Friday nights.

Superintendent Ed Nichols says, "For our school system it will change how we look at sporting events, it will change how we secure them, we've got to address all of those problems because the parameters could be different."

The issue here is Alabama's new gun law. Just how does it affect public schools is something local leaders are finding hard to determine.

"That's one of the challenges of this law. How does the state law align with the Gun-Free Act of federal law and who can enforce those? Our main thing right now is we don't feel like guns need to be on the property of schools," says Nichols.

We're told the new gun law doesn't strictly define how local schools should handle the situation. Decatur school leaders say teachers will not be allowed to bring guns on campus or the parking lots.

The Director of Safety, Dwight Satterfield, says, "The federal Gun-Free Act prohibits firearms or weapons of any type on property owned by the school board."

Regardless, officials say their main concern is the safety of the kids.

"In today's society, you're not sure of the intent of individuals. It leaves a lot of uncertainty when you have someone on the property with a firearm," says Satterfield.

This in turn will call for stricter security measures on school campus for classes and sporting events.

"But, I do think you'll begin to see a change in the accessibility in how you enter a sporting event and we see that at the college level," says Nichols.

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