Sunday, June 06, 2010

Testing the Metal of State Employees

As I am sure you are aware, despite the pronouncements of Texas Governor Rick Perry that none were needed, metal detection checkpoints have been installed in the state capitol. Presumably, all who enter the state capitol are subjected to a scan to determine whether they are carrying weapons.

But don’t be so presumptuous. This is Texas, after all.

As it turns out, if you possess the right to carry a concealed weapon, that is, if you have a propensity to pack heat, you don’t have to walk through the metal detector.

What you are carrying, apparently, might set off an alarm.

Now wait, they say, this all makes sense. People who have a concealed weapon permit have been subjected to a criminal background check. That is, because those carrying such a permit have not been inclined to pump bullets into another person in the past, this means they likely will not be inclined to do so in the present or future.

So you would presume then that they get by and go around, and no one else.

But don’t be so presumptuous. This is Texas, after all.

As revealed late last week, those who carry a state employee ID badge also get to go around if they flash their ID. They’re OK, too.

Except for the fact that they are not. As it turns out, a staffer carrying a state employee ID badge has not been subjected to a criminal background check. Not that this necessarily means anything, but the reasons given to allow one kind of person to go around – gun wielders - do not equate to the reasons for another kind – briefcase wielders.

Odd, huh? Oh, but then, this is Texas, after all.

Bringing me to my point.

I wonder whether I could flash my school district’s faculty ID at the metal detector guy and be able to go around. As it turns out, I pass the requirement of having had the benefit of a criminal background check.

Every teacher in the state has.

Senate Bill 9, passed in the 80th legislative session made sure of it.

According to SB 9:

“S.B. 9 requires criminal history background information reviews of all certified public school employees and provides for a national criminal history clearinghouse. Current non-certified employees are required to submit to a statewide review, while certified employees hired on or after September 1, 2007 are required to submit to a national criminal history background information review. Individuals who have been convicted or received deferred adjudication for a Title 5 felony offense or a sex offense when the victim of the crime was a child would be prohibited from employment with a public school district.”

So you see, if a Glock-carrying lobbyist can go around a metal detection checkpoint in the state capitol, because he has been subjected to a criminal background check, so should a Texas public school teacher.

Hey, fair is fair.

Oh, but this is Texas, after all.

1 comment:

Hal said...

You have it exact.

Metal detectors should be for all or none. IATA rules at airports should be the ruling principles.
But Texas is a ruling concept unto itself.

Votes count.