Teachers Carrying Guns? I Have a Couple of Questions.

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I Prefer My Teachers Not to be Packing.I came across this article on the Houston Chronicle website.


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?

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7 Responses to “Teachers Carrying Guns? I Have a Couple of Questions.”

  1. Paul V8
    on Aug 16th, 2008
    @ 6:15 am

    I wonder what process the school board went through to arrive at this ingenious decision. When did teaching become so dangerous? Does thiis only appIy to high school teachers? What about elementary school teachers? Pre-K? Sounds silly, but once the door is open…

  2. M&M
    on Aug 16th, 2008
    @ 9:36 am

    From what I have read the teachers would have to qualify to have a concealed carry license. This means they would be trained in gun safety, have to pass a background check, be finger printed and have to pass a shooting test. The school district is also going to require additional training above and beyond what the state of Texas requires to have a concealed carry license.

    You wouldn’t have to worry about your holster matching your tie, belt or shoes. Frankly because it would be concealed. The students and for that matter nobody else should be able to tell which teachers are carrying a gun and which one’s are not.

    I have a concealed Carry license issued by my state. Other than my family nobody else knows that I carry.

    Is there a concern I might get MAD and shoot someone? Probably not. The gun is only for self defense and to defend the lives of my family and friends.

    It is a tool of last resort. I have already experienced a potentially life threatening situation. But it wasn’t my gun that I went for in that situation. I removed myself from the situation, put distance between myself and the threat, got my cell phone in my hand and began to get law enforcement involved. I had those options available to me.

    In a school where an intruder comes in, chains and locks the doors so nobody can get out. Having teachers and faculty armed could mean the difference between life and death for the staff and children inside the school. Without armed staff the intruder can have their way inside the school and shoot unarmed people throughout the building. It’s happened time and time again in this country and others.

    One armed person inside that school could stop the intruder/gunman and save many, many lives.

  3. micsmith
    on Aug 16th, 2008
    @ 11:11 am

    I am not sure I agree 100%, but great comment.

    Sadly, there are a lot of people who don’t have the good judgement on when to use a gun and when not to.

    I appreciate you taking the time to share you thoughts.

    Please come back and visit the Blog.

  4. Anonymous
    on Aug 16th, 2008
    @ 2:30 pm

    I really think this is a bad idea. In the USMC we had lots of training with different weapons systems. There were times when we were on guard duty and only carried a night stick. We still knew what deadly force was and that it was only used as a last resort when all lesser means had failed. That training when on for years. I don’t think that a common teacher would understand it enough to handle a weapon in a school. I do not know any teacher that fits the bill and would handle a weapon in the proper manner. I know some of them hunt and believe that hunting and holstering a weapon in a school are the same. What will happen when a teacher looses control of the weapon and a child picks it up? Will some of the kids be nervous enough to arm themselves? This is wrong on so many levels.

    I support the right to bear arms 110%. I own a few and plan to train my own children on the proper use of them when they are old enough. I also refuse to buy my children any toy guns because I believe that they should never be considered toys.

  5. Anonymous
    on Aug 16th, 2008
    @ 4:24 pm

    I do think that a person who is willing to enter a school with a firearm does not care about who might have a gun inside.

  6. Sharen
    on Oct 27th, 2009
    @ 1:11 pm

    With this current congress and president you better get all your gun licenses ASAP before they take all our rights away.

  7. R. Jenkins
    on Jan 27th, 2013
    @ 6:33 am

    It would be nice if people in this country had brains. These school shooters do not care about who may have a gun they want to die. The NRA needs shut down about as bad as the taliban. They need to do something before one of these idiot gun carring teachers kills one of your kids. The town I live in just had a youth night at our old theater that couldn’t stay afloat. If we would give our youth something better to do maybe they wouldn’t grow up to shoot people. Track the bullets. If they can put barcodes on everything else and track it, they can track bullets. We have got to get real in this country. I am so tired of hearing about guns, I wish they would melt them all. You idiots who don’t think so move to a third world country were they still think it’s alright for idiots to carry guns. These teachers who want to carry guns in school need move to Iraq or Korea maybe. Stay away from my kids school. The officer at the Newtown school couldn’t handle the situation what makes you gun carrying dumbies think a teacher should be put in that situation. Worry more about your family life and less about your money and status stupid. Stupid is forever, ignorance can be fixed.

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