Schuylkill County

Brothers Andrew Barrow and Ronald Stanley 'Stosh' Webb (right) have been on a mission to fight racism in Schuylkill County. Is it working?
Bas Slabbers / Keystone Crossroads

Andrew Barrow sat down to dinner with his wife, his teenage daughter, and a gnawing question. What does it mean to be a ‘snowflake’?

Someone had dropped the word in a comment on his post on Nosey Neighbors of Schuylkill County, a hyper-active local Facebook group. Usually, it’s a snapshot of rural Pennsylvania life: burglaries, missing pets, fundraisers for sick neighbors, and fires. Every few days, it seemed, another fire.

But, lately, things had gotten personal.

Tamaqua parent Rebecca Kowalski criticizes the school board's new policy that would authorize the training and arming of some teachers and staff.
Matt Smith for Keystone Crossroads

Nearly three hours into a special meeting about a policy that would ask some staff at the Tamaqua Area School District to carry guns, parent Liz Pinkey read aloud a letter from educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

They had written to the Pennsylvania State Senate last year, when lawmakers were debating a bill to allow personnel with concealed carry permits to be armed on school property.

Educators fire off rounds during a concealed carry class for teachers Sunday, June 10, 2018, at Adventure Tactical Training in Farmer City, Illinois.
David Proeber, The Pantagraph via AP

A school district near Allentown recently, and rather quietly, became Pennsylvania’s first to pass a policy permitting teachers to carry guns in schools.

But a backlash has since developed, setting up a showdown over the place of guns in Pennsylvania schools that could set statewide precedent.