Steve G.

CNN: Texas school district to allow teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms

In Children, Constitutional Rights, Law, Libertarian, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Second Amendment on August 16, 2008 at 12:35 pm

From CNN:

HARROLD, Texas (AP) — A tiny Texas school district will allow teachers and staff members to carry concealed firearms to protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting employees follow certain requirements.

The small community of Harrold in north Texas is a 30-minute drive from the Wilbarger County Sheriff’s Office, leaving students and teachers without protection, said David Thweatt, superintendent of the Harrold Independent School District. The lone campus of the 110-student district sits near a heavily traveled highway, which could make it a target, he argued.

“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 a story published Friday on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Web site.

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, Ohio-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.

Trustees approved the policy change last year, and it takes effect when classes begin this month. For employees 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 must use ammunition designed to minimize the risk of ricocheting bullets.

Officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change, Thweatt said. The district also has other measures in place to prevent a school shooting, he said.

“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 at schools unless specific institutions allow them.

It isn’t clear 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.

  1. “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 a story published Friday on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Web site.

    Three words: Richard Franklin Speck, who somewhat ironically, was born deep in the heart of Texas.

    I’m not saying the policy is wrong, just that this justification is pure BS, and is not a deterrent to school shootings, or a good defense. Does anyone believe that the students will not know which teachers are packing?

    It raises the stakes, which presents a hurdle to overcome, but it is not a real preventative, or a good defense.

  2. If a bad guy knows there are numerous armed people in the school, it would probably deter him from doing anything at that school, it’s common sense there. If he does go in anyway, the chances are good he will be shot if he starts his killing, sounds like good defense to me. If it does take a Deputy at least 20 min. to get to the school, arming certain staff and teachers seem like a good alternative. Like the Liberals always say, “if this saves even one child, it will be worth it” They have to conceal the weapons so the students will have a difficult time determining which teacher or staff is armed.

  3. @ Larry – you are making two false assumptions: 1) that a person who attacks a school with homicidal intents is a rational being; 2) that the attacker intends to survive the assault.

    A third assumption of yours is probably false too; that the attacker will not be a member of the targeted school. The faculty and staff will be told who has permits. The students will be able to deduce who are ones packing. It ain’t rocket science. The permits for concealed carry at a school will most likely state that the weapon must be carried on the permitted person at all times while on school grounds. The students will play a game attempting to figure out who is carry a concealed weapon. Some of the persons with permits will consciously give the tell, and others will simply be tricked into showing. It’s HS, after all.

  4. PDSA – even given your assumptions, we are still better off w/ armed teachers…

    1. Even the irrational mass shooter wants to get as many victims as possible before being got – knowing that a given target has defenders increases the odds of his picking an alternative target. Even if it doesn’t deter, having armed defenders onsite still means a likelyhood of fewer victims – no loss either way.

    2. If the attacker doesn’t intend to survive, isn’t it better to provide the service of doing him in sooner, before he has a chance to take as many victims with him?

    3. Granted knowing who’s packing probably will become an open secret, I agree with your logic there, it really doesn’t change anything that much. If the assailant knows the math teacher packs and the science teacher doesn’t, it may change what class he starts his dirty work in, but the packing teachers are still just down the hall, which is far closer than the copshop…


  5. My buddy went to a military school/academy.

    Teachers were armed,
    Students were armed,

    There has never been a school shooting, or a big fight.

  6. My HS had M-16 rifles in the basement at the JROTC range. We never had a school shooting.

    Columbine would have ended early if teachers were packing. That says it all.

    Besides, if you don’t know, you don’t know, and sometimes that bluff is as good as the real thing.

    Art has it dead on.

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