Teachers armed with guns in the classroom in Texas may start a new trend

Teachers are armed with guns in the classroom in Texas and it may start a new trend
March 6, 2014 6:43:27 AM PST
The idea of a carrying a gun into a classroom may seem extreme. But there is a school district in Texas where teachers have been arming themselves for years. Other school districts may soon start doing the same.

While cameras are positioned and monitors viewed in the superintendent's office, it's what's not seen that put the town of Harrold, Texas, on the map.

"In rural Americam,, it's not 'Barney and Andy' and that sort of thing anymore," said Harrold ISD Superintendent David Thweatt.

"Right there is the stage I graduated on," said Harrold resident Mike Blakely.

No one understands that more than Blakely as decades have passed.

"So you never questioned your security growing up?" we asked him..

"No," he said.

As trophies were added to the cases, the world became a different place.

Because of shootings at other schools that have made national headlines, Superintendent Thweatt convinced the school board to pass a policy that allows staff to be armed.

The district reimburses employees for training, ammunition and the gun itself. Under the 'Guardian plan' teachers are required to keep the gun on them at all times. It cannot be placed in a desk or in their purse.

"Are you armed right now?" we asked.

"Well, we don't release the names of the individuals who are armed or part of the plan," said Thweatt.

Since teachers started carrying guns in 2007 the Superintendent says he's gotten calls from districts in 40 states and right here in Texas many more are following suit.

According to the Texas Association of School Boards, 71 districts across the state have adopted some type of policy allowing employees to be armed on campus.

"Oh there's a delightful way to teach a class, don't mind this gun that's strapped to my hip," said Gayle Fallon with the Houston Federation of Teachers.

Urban areas seem less likely to follow, Fallon of the Houston Federation of Teachers says while she's a gun owner herself, she doesn't believe they belong in the classroom.

"Tell me the average teacher is going to aim a gun, look in the eyes of a 14-year-old and pull the trigger," Fallon said.

While times have changed Blakely hopes his son can make that same graduation march, feeling as safe as he did.

"I don't have to worry about somebody shooting my boy," said Blakely.

Find Christine on Facebook at ABC13ChristineDobbyn or on Twitter at @christinedobbyn

Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices

Load Comments