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Parent files lawsuit over school ban after Facebook photo of weapons permit

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 6:24 PM
Last updated Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 9:04 AM
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A parent volunteer banned from her daughter’s school after posting a photo of her concealed weapons permit on Facebook filed a lawsuit against the Richmond County Board of Education in federal court Thursday.

Tanya Mount believes school officials violated her Constitutional right to bear arms by issuing her a criminal trespass warning at McBean Elementary School on Oct. 23, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

School officials, however, said it was Mount’s worrisome behavior leading up to the photo, not the photo alone, that prompted them to ban her from the campus.

“A person that has a permit to carry a weapon, if they post it on Facebook, we don’t care,” said Deputy Superintendent Tim Spivey. “It was her behavior that alarmed us that triggered the reaction from the principal.”

According to the lawsuit, Mount posted a photo on Facebook after obtaining her Georgia Weapons Carry License on Oct. 16 because she was excited to share the news with her friends from New Jersey, where gun laws are more strict.

She was called to School Safety and Security Capt. Ted Brown’s office Oct. 23, and informed that she was banned from the McBean campus and would be arrested if she trespassed, the lawsuit states.

Spivey said McBean Principal Janina Dallas had been growing nervous about Mount’s behavior because there were times she was found walking around campus unannounced. Spivey said Mount would also wander from assigned volunteer tasks into unauthorized areas and made “inappropriate comments” when Dallas tried to explain the visitor sign-in rules.

Because she couldn’t stay as involved in her daughter’s education at McBean with the ban, Spivey authorized a transfer to Goshen Elementary School, where Mount has no restrictions.

John Monroe, a gun-rights attorney representing Mount, said he believes the ban was prompted solely on the Facebook photo and may have also had to do with Mount’s status as an Army veteran.

“The fact that the school system would take some action against somebody for something they posted on social media is ludicrous,” Monroe said.

After local TV news media ran a story about Mount’s situation last week, board of education officials received dozens of phone calls and e-mails from gun rights activists across the nation.

Spivey said a soldier called his office from Afghanistan on Thursday to complain. Another e-mail he received called school officials “Muslim lovers” and said the administrators “lacked brain cells.”

“I’m glad the mother was able to transfer her child to another school,” wrote Connor Goodwolf of Columbus, Ohio. “I wouldn’t want my kid around someone who is a ballistic fear mongering idiot who shames law abiding veterans.”

“You try that garbage in Texas and I would sue you until the district was broke,” David Hips of Van Alstyne, Texas, wrote in an e-mail to school officials.

Mount did not respond to a request for comment and instead spoke through her attorney. However, former Richmond County Council of PTAs President Monique Braswell said parents are often banned from local schools for frivolous reasons, and this is one of them.

“They need to just say ‘We overreacted, we made a mistake,’ ” Braswell said. “Parents would have accepted an apology.”

However Spivey said in an age of school shootings, violence and tragedy, administrators can’t take chances when it comes to student safety. He said the McBean principal had reason to be nervous and acted reasonably.

“We want kids to be safe,” he said. “If we didn’t do something and this lady had a meltdown and anybody knew we had some idea there was a problem ... it would be ‘Here we go again.’ ”

Comments (22) Add comment
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GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 11/07/13 - 07:53 pm
10
9
Sounds to me as if the post
Unpublished

Sounds to me as if the post was an implied threat to those that she perceived as having dissed her in some ways. Definitely more to the story than she is telling.....

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 11/07/13 - 08:19 pm
12
9
Dear Lord...

...please let me be in the room when Mrs. Mount is deposed /and or/ testifies to questions concerning her mental state, claims she has made about her mental state, and any service related PTSD issues she may have claimed to be suffering from.

Amen.

jdsgirl63
2008
Points
jdsgirl63 11/07/13 - 08:32 pm
7
2
Of course she filed a

Of course she filed a lawsuit, who thought she wouldn't?

fedex227
10618
Points
fedex227 11/07/13 - 09:16 pm
12
2
Wacko alert.

Come on guys.

Pops
6774
Points
Pops 11/07/13 - 09:21 pm
7
0
She's just trying

for the lotto.........

faithson
4783
Points
faithson 11/07/13 - 10:45 pm
10
2
what is really interesting is

what is really interesting is how quick 'outsiders' are to comment and the veracity with which they make those comments. The principle IS the 'commander in chief' on campus, if she feels there is a problem, she has every right to make an appropriate decision. A decision that seems was made AFTER consult with law enforcement. hate that the BOE has to spend monies on defending what seems to be an appropriate response to a deluded parent.

DawgnSC69
240
Points
DawgnSC69 11/07/13 - 11:03 pm
10
3
The signs are there...

The statement from her attorney scares the hell out of me.

“The fact that the school system would take some action against somebody for something they posted on social media is ludicrous,” Monroe said.

Yes, posting a CWP on Facebook alone isn't that serious. Dumb? Yes. Any person with a stable mind wouldn't do it in the first place. But how many times have warning signs came from social media?

That, along with obnoxious behavior toward any school official is a very good reason to issue a no trespassing warrant against anyone.

Also, from the story I've heard, her significant other is incarcerated for a felony and possibly more.

Things don't seem right here. The red flags were flying high for some time now.

IMO, this woman needs to be watched very carefully.

I have a CWP and will defend my family with everything I have and fight for my gun rights until the death. But, Fox News and all of the gun rights advocates jumped the gun on this one as much as I hate to say it.

Sounds like a racial card flying through the air again to me. A lot of that going on these days.

Grandpa Jones
1037
Points
Grandpa Jones 11/08/13 - 05:08 am
4
4
...

Don't know how the schools handle things these days but sounds like the principal was the one who dropped the ball. Once Ms. Mount started to push policy boundaries, the principal immediately should have given her a warning. Second violation = banned from the campus. And if Ms. Mount showed back up trying to start something = being arrested. By letting this drag on, the principal failed to nip this in the bud, early on.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/13 - 09:09 am
6
4
Facebook

I'm curious as to what was the motive for a school principal to be wasting time trying to read facebook accounts of parents of his students. Don't school officials have more productive things to do with their time?

David Parker
7921
Points
David Parker 11/08/13 - 10:01 am
4
5
If the State finds her sane

If the State finds her sane enough to keep the CWP, I find it difficult to argue she's too wacked to be on public property. Sorry Austin, but an individual's rights are secure and unless she broke a law (and was charged), she should be allowed to go anywhere other citizens are allowed to go.

Rights are not contingent on what people have the capacity to do b/c under the right circumstances, we all are capable of doing dumb stuff.

The person was found walking around school property without adhering to visitor rules. If this was documented properly and it was made abundantly clear that further violation would result in banning, maybe there's a case. But the admin didn't ban her at that time and it doesn't say she continued to ignore the visitor rules. I wouldn't want blood on my hands either if I was in charge, but we can't go around picking and choosing who is or isn't crazy and who should be extended a particular right. Sometimes being in charge requires tough decisions and sometimes they aren't right. Do your best but don't throw the rights of an individual under the bus for a collective pacification.

There it is. Bring it :)

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/13 - 10:02 am
6
2
This doesn't make sense —

From the story:

Because she couldn’t stay as involved in her daughter’s education at McBean with the ban, Deputy Superintendent Tim Spivey authorized a transfer to Goshen Elementary School, where Mount has no restrictions.

What does the school system gain by banning her at one school and not all of them?

advertencia
23
Points
advertencia 11/08/13 - 10:11 am
7
0
Little Lamb- 1st statement.

Little Lamb- 1st statement. The principal is a woman. She did not read the FB page of Mount. The PTA brought it to her attention. 2nd statement. I think you are right about moving her to another school. She asked to be moved since she was banned. The same rules will apply at the new school. She will be required to sign in and out and abide by all school rules. If not, she will be subjected to being banned once again.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/13 - 10:42 am
3
3
Extra Information

Thank you, advertencia, for the clarification.

Truth Matters
6164
Points
Truth Matters 11/08/13 - 10:57 am
5
0
"Sounds like a racial card

"Sounds like a racial card flying through the air again to me. A lot of that going on these days."

I am almost afraid to ask how any of this has anything to do with a "race card." If the woman can't follow rules she should not have access to the school. The privilege gives parents access as long as they are not disruptive.

I had professional clearance to be in many schools for years but never took it upon myself to go to any rooms I was not cleared to visit, even when I knew the teacher personally. You sign in, go where you are supposed to go, sign out and leave. That should be easy enough for an adult to follow.

Truth Matters
6164
Points
Truth Matters 11/08/13 - 11:06 am
4
0
Most parents have the

Most parents have the capacity to empathize with the job that school officials have to do to keep children safe. This parent should "get it" that when schools act to keep one child safe, it keeps all children safe, including her own.

I find it a concern that a parent of any child, But especially a child with special needs, does not understand this.

wcr250
41
Points
wcr250 11/08/13 - 11:55 am
5
7
Government Schools

If you choose to send your child to a government run school ,you should expect this liberal,socialist behavior fron the rulers of the school.Remove your kid from this environment immediately and give them a chance in life,even if you have to sacrifice.

David Parker
7921
Points
David Parker 11/08/13 - 01:55 pm
3
3
x2

@ government schools and doctrine

Sweet son
9680
Points
Sweet son 11/08/13 - 02:14 pm
3
0
LOL!

She will probably go over to Goshen and do some of the same stuff. I am sure the Goshen faculty and staff have been warned about her.

getitright84
301
Points
getitright84 11/08/13 - 02:46 pm
6
0
I have children that attend

I have children that attend the school in question. Dr. Dallas does a wonderful job as the head administrator. Safety of the children is priority number one. I commend her for what she does to ensure my babies come home everyday after 7.5 hours of learning. There are ALOT of facts that have to be kept quiet due to the pending litigation. For those that want to burn her at the stake, imagine this being your child's school. Would you not want their caretaker to watch them and their surroundings like a hawk?

Red Headed Step Child
4006
Points
Red Headed Step Child 11/08/13 - 02:56 pm
6
0
Regardless of whether someone

Regardless of whether someone is in a public school or private school, there are restrictions or protocol on who may be on campus, for what reasons, etc. You can't expect that parents can just come and go as they please. It would be hippocritical to expect schools to have security measures in place while at the same time expecting them to give parents or anyone else free reign.

burninater
8847
Points
burninater 11/08/13 - 05:02 pm
5
5
"If you choose to send your

"If you choose to send your child to a government run school ,you should expect this liberal,socialist behavior fron the rulers of the school."
------
Yes, everyone's aware of that liberal socialist hotbed known as McBean Elementary (sarcasm).

Some people think the darnedest things ...

JRC2024
7943
Points
JRC2024 11/08/13 - 10:42 pm
1
1
Good for the principal. She

Good for the principal. She is doing what is right for the students. Rants for the mother. She sounds like she thinks she can be anywhere in the school she wants.

oneofthesane
2201
Points
oneofthesane 11/08/13 - 09:11 pm
1
0
School Safety
Unpublished

For those who do not have a doctorate degree, even know what it takes to operate a school or even how to use proper grammar and punctuation nonetheless.......should not presume or speculate that the principle was sitting on facebook or what she was doing with his/her time. A common sense realization: usually people miss the signs and often look back AFTER tragedy and piece together "stuff" and wish they had saw things sooner or taken little things more seriously.......this principle did her job and did it well. It is rather sad and ridiculous that some adults don't see what is right in front of them. A woman with a few loose screws that is mildly unruly in (at least) an elementary school setting is now advertising she has a gun permit. I think nothing less than awards and recognition for a job well done should be presented to this principle. For those that think the principle should have acted sooner.....is it not ridiculous that you complain that she acted when she did? I mean it was BEFORE anybody was killed or died? Is that not early enough? Should she have "acted" even earlier? Possibly if Mount's hair was unkempt one day or if her clothes were slightly askew or the alike (this is sarcasm)? You see, if she acted then, than possibly a lawsuit would have been warranted.....not a moment sooner and not a moment later.....this principle handled this to a perfect "T"......I am sure a judge will see that. Wish there was a thank-you-fund to start up for the principle. I would give proudly. I pray there are more like him/her out there in these schools protecting our children from this craziness. Amen

Darby
23562
Points
Darby 11/09/13 - 12:48 am
3
0
Guess I'll wait for the

facts to surface.... before I rush to judgment.

If the woman is truly a flake... then yes, the principal's decision was justified and the school board should counter-sue and take everything she owns.

On the other hand, if the principal is just another unhinged liberal, frightened at the very thought of another human being anywhere on the planet with a firearm, then she should be selling apples on a street corner and not in charge of other people's children.

Let's wait and see which scenario plays out.

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