School board allows armed employees, teachers
POSTED: Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 12:07pm
(CNN) — An East Texas school district has become the second in the state to allow select, licensed and trained teachers to possess a firearm on campus.
Residents asked that faculty and staff be allowed to carry guns after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
Bob Hallmark talked to school officials and parents.
Union Grove ISD's decision was not made lightly, they say.
"If somebody came into our school meaning to do harm to our kiddos, would you want somebody up here to stop that as quickly as possible? Overwhelmingly, the answer was yes. Unfortunately, it's the world we're living in, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Amish schoolhouse so we want to be proactive."
The policy states only those school employees who have obtained and then maintain a current license to carry a concealed handgun, in accordance with state law, are eligible to be selected.
"We're talking about in-depth training, whether that be with licensed contractors, security or law enforcement. Having armed staff members throughout the district in case of emergency."
The goal is to have someone ready while waiting for law enforcement.
"We may have a deputy two minutes away, but in all likelihood their maybe 10-15 minutes away."
"We'll be the first responders and the thing is how fast can we mitigate the circumstance."
Parents don't think this is over-reacting.
"I think it's a great idea. I think they all need to carry, I'm a license carrier myself and I think we all have that right with the second amendment. That's one way to protect our kids," says parent Mindy Borden.
"We're in a small community here. The likelihood of something like that happening here is probably a rare occurrence, but those other schools probably thought the same thing also. You'd want to stop it before a shot ever gets fired."
The select teachers will not be disclosed.
The Union Grove school board is considering allocating $10,000 a year in its budget to pay for training.
Officials say they will implement the policy over the next few months.