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Thread: Texas School going to allow teachers to protect the students.

  1. #1
    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/834022.html

    Small Texas school district lets teachers, staff pack pistols

    By MARK AGEE
    rmagee@star-telegram.com



    When classes start Aug. 25 in the tiny Harrold school district, there will be one distinct difference from years prior: Some of the teachers may have guns.

    To deter and protect against school shootings, trustees have altered district policy to allow employees to carry concealed weapons if they have a state permit and permission from the administration. The 110-student district lies 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.

    More than a dozen state legislatures have considered making it legal to carry guns on college campuses, but experts and officials contacted by the Star-Telegram say the move is unheard of in elementary or secondary schools.

    Superintendent David Thweatt said a main concern was that the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection.

    'To be prepared’

    The district’s lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target, Thweatt said.

    Other security measures are in place, including one-way access to enter the school, state-of-the-art surveillance cameras and electric locks on doors. But after the Virginia Tech massacre and the Amish school shooting in Pennsylvania, Thweatt felt he had to take further action, he said.

    "When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started," Thweatt said. "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."

    Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses "unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution."

    Thweatt did not say how many of the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall because he doesn’t want students or potential attackers to know. Wilbarger County Sheriff Larry Lee was out of the office Thursday and did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

    Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said her organization is not aware of another district doing something similar. Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, including in Texas, said Harrold is the first district he knows of to take such a step.

    Trump said he would have advised against allowing teachers to arm themselves, if only because of liability concerns. In the long run, it could have been cheaper and safer to hire security or off-duty police, he said. Texas school districts also have the option of forming their own police force, he noted.

    "What are the rules for use of force?" Trump said. "Or how about weapons-retention training? Because they could go in to break up a fight in the cafeteria and lose their gun."

    Thweatt said the district did not rush into the decision. Officials researched the policy and weighed other options for about a year before trustees voted on the policy in October.

    "The naysayers think [a shooting] won’t happen here," he said. "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."





    The gun policy Teachers and staffers in the Harrold school district can carry firearms beginning this fall if they:


    Have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun.

    Are authorized to carry by the district.

    Receive training in crisis management and hostile situations.

    Use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.

    Source: Harrold school district





    MARK AGEE, 817-685-3813

  2. #2
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    The safety and well-being of both students and teachers is tantamount to all fear and doubt. The measures taken by this school district illustrate the desire of this unique community to safeguard their most precious resource-- their future generations. Harrold Independent School District is to be commended for its courage, foresight, and working within the framework of the law.
    This was the comment that I left on the Houston Chronicle website in regards to this fantastic and thoughtful policy decision of the Harrold Independent School District. Just one more reason for Open Carry folks to get on board the Texas Petition and help keep our schools and places of worship safe.

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    possumboy wrote:
    To deter and protect against school shootings, trustees have altered district policy to allow employees to carry concealed weapons if they have a state permit and permission from the administration. The 110-student district lies 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.
    :celebrate
    Superintendent David Thweatt said a main concern was that the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection.
    "When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started," Thweatt said. "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."
    :celebrate:celebrate:celebrate

    Trump said he would have advised against allowing teachers to arm themselves, if only because of liability concerns. In the long run, it could have been cheaper and safer to hire security or off-duty police, he said. Texas school districts also have the option of forming their own police force, he noted.
    "What are the rules for use of force?" Trump said. "Or how about weapons-retention training? Because they could go in to break up a fight in the cafeteria and lose their gun."
    Valid points, but how many children can be killed in the time it takes the school police officer to cross the campus? How expensive would hiring the equivalent number of police officers be to the district, when this measure costs a few dollars in paperwork?

    I agree that weapons-retention training is important, but we're talking about concealed weapons. Nobody else should know it's there until it's drawn. And with 80% of teachers being female, purses, kept in theteacher's desk,are the #1 concealed-carry option. As far as use of force, the rules don't change until a hostile gunman enters the picture. A fistfight in the halls is exactly that and should be handled the way it always has been.

    WhatI would be most worried about is having to tell a distressed parent that their son was shot and killed by a teacher. The circumstances behind the shooting could be as clear-cut as you please; their son pulled a MAC-10 out of his backpack and started shooting up the lunchroom. Scenarios like this are how antis are created; never mind that my son was pulling the trigger, it was the gun that was killing people; if we ban them this will never happen again. And yes, there's the liability concern. However, as long as the shooting was justified, this case will never see a court because TxCPC Chapter 87 provides immunity from any civil suit resulting from the justified use of force as laid out in TPC Chapter 9. If the shooting was not justified, forget it; the teacher, principal, school and district are going to bedefending amulti-million-dollar lawsuit that they will probably lose. But what teacher would shoot any student, or really anyone else, unless it was the very last option?

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    I note that this is NOT the first district to allow concealed carry. The ENTIRE State of Utah allows school employees and parents (and any other adult with legit reason to be at the school) with permits to carry firearms as well. And we've been doing so for several years. State law explicitly (generally, with very limited exceptions for corrections, mental hospitals, etc) prevents government entities (including school districts) from having any employment or other policy limiting the legal possessionof firearms. It covers all State run schools, K-12, plus State colleges and universities.

    At the university level where adults (21+) may well be students, those adult students can also carry without fear of dismissal. Some universities are still trying to make OC difficult. But even they concede that they have no choice but to allow CC.

    Private schools and colleges can set whatever policy they like. The two largest private colleges in the State (BYU and Westminster) do ban guns. But it is a private policy without criminal charges except possible trespassing if someone refused to leave. I know the private school we use allows their employees to CC if they choose.

    But good news nonetheless to see some common sense.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    I hope it's contagious!!
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    It burns my butt that the main reason to NOT allow guns on campus to protect ourselves and our kids is this;

    "Trump said he would have advised against allowing teachers to arm themselves, if only because of liability concerns."

    LIABILITY! MONEY! People Please!If I can save myselfand our kids, by taking down someone, whether an adult or another kid, that is going on a shooting spree, then please feel free to sue me!

    Going home at the end of the day in one piece outweighs any amount of money a lawyerwilltry to getfor themselves and theBG's family.

    Any lawyer that can look at a case that is a clean shoot and still tries to sue needs to be disbarred.

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