I came across this article on the Houston Chronicle website.
NORTH TEXAS SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL LET TEACHERS CARRY GUNS
HARROLD, Texas – A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes begin later this month, a newspaper reported.
Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.
In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
Superintendent David Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district’s lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.
“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying ‘sic ‘em’ to a dog,” Thweatt said in Friday’s online edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.
“The naysayers think (a shooting) won’t happen here. If something were to happen here, I’d much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them,” Thweatt said.
Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses “unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution.”
It was unclear how many of the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall because Thweatt did not disclose that information, to keep it from students or potential attackers. Wilbarger County Sheriff Larry Lee was out of the office Thursday and did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment, the newspaper said.
Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said her organization did not know of another district with such a policy. Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, including in Texas, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.
The 110-student district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.
To me, this brings up a couple (or a thousand) questions.
Are all teachers allowed to carry guns? Does the administration or school board get to decide who has a gun and who doesn’t?
What about the teachers who just received a bad evaluation?
Even worse, what about that teacher who is having a “bad day” or a “bad year”? Is the district concerned about them making a “bad decision”?
Should we be concerned about the teacher who is easily distracted?
What about the brand new teacher who has just graduated from college and has that glazed over look of constant nervousness? Can they have a gun when they have yet to deal with their first discipline issue or angry parent?
Is shooting straight going to be part of the training during student teaching?
Personally, I have never gotten upset enough with a student or parent to use a gun. But, I have also never had a gun holstered under my suit jacket (plus, it is probably not a good fashion statement… that unsightly bump on your hip… not exactly a trimming look).
If I did wear a holster, should it match my tie or my shoes? I for one don’t need any more drama when I am trying to get my school clothes together.
Will this deter students from passing notes, having their cell phone on in class, or not turning their homework in on time?
At the minimum, it should cut back on the backtalk.
Will coaches be allowed to carry guns on the sidelines, on the bus, or during practice? If so, will fans think twice before second-guessing their decisions from the stands?
Should referees be nervous?
What happens when an angry student overpowers a staff member and takes their gun?
How long before a student says to a teacher “what are you going to do, shoot me”?
How long before a student goes home and tells their parents “a teacher threatened to shoot me today at school”?
Will this guarantee that Teacher’s Meetings never run long?
What will the insurance company think? Mine worries that a student might trip when we have a crack in the sidewalk. What would they say if the staff was armed and ready?
Will students put more effort into running the mile in PE?
Should administrators be worried when a teacher knocks on their office door and says “I need to speak to you” (note to self, have secretaries start screening visitors).
What happens when two teachers get upset with each other? (okay, bad example… that never happens)
Can teachers have them during contract negotiations?
As you can see, my questions are endless…
Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-gun or against taking every precaution to protect our students during the school day, but teachers with guns just might be a problem.
Oh, what am I so worried about. Once again, I am making a mountain out of a molehill.
When you really think about the concept of teachers walking around the hallways or being in their classrooms with guns… what could possibly go wrong?