Teachers and parents wrestle with idea of guns at school

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Local educators debate president's proposal to arm teachers. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

President Trump's proposal to arm teachers as a way to curb deadly violence at school is controversial, especially in Houston.

The idea is getting mixed reaction from parents and educators, who said more has to be done to protect students.

"I think we should have more guards, security guards around the classroom," Mary Ann Ruffin said.

"You're talking about putting guns in a public school? Come on! That's just like putting guns in a grocery store," Michael Holmes said.

The president's proposal comes on the heels of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.



In Texas, there are districts that are arming its teachers for safety, including Harrold ISD, just northwest of Dallas.

"We're about 30 minutes from law enforcement," Harrold ISD Superintendent David Thweatt said. "So we had to take care of ourselves."

Eyewitness News spoke to Thweatt via Skype, who said the policy has been in place for the last 11 years.

Thweatt said teachers are required to get a concealed handgun permit, approval by the school board, and to take training to participate.

The superintendent hopes more school districts will be open to Trump's proposal.

"If you have people in classrooms, or all around the districts that could potentially be carrying a weapon, they're not coming to your place," Thweatt said.

Andrew Dewey, vice president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, disagrees.

"It is ludicrous," Dewey said. "There is no way it makes it safer to have all these guns on campus on a daily basis."

Dewey said instead of arming teachers, districts should invest more resources into training.

As a former teacher, Dewey said he has a hard time believing teachers could take down a suspect.

"I've got news for you," Dewey said. "If I saw a former student, and I have a weapon in my hand, I'm not sure I could ever shoot."

WHERE YOUR STUDENT'S DISTRICT STANDS
Curious if teachers might be carrying weapons at your student's school in the future? We spoke with a number of districts for their reaction to Trump's proposal.
  • ALIEF ISD: Teachers with CHLs may have weapons in their car, per Texas law. No discussions underway to consider Trump's proposal.
  • CLEAR CREEK ISD: Does not have a policy on arming teachers. No discussions underway to consider Trump's proposal.
  • CY-FAIR ISD: Does not allow teachers to carry weapons on campus.
  • DEER PARK ISD: Does not allow teachers to carry weapons on campus.
  • DICKINSON ISD: No discussions underway to consider Trump's proposal.
  • HOUSTON ISD: Does not allow teachers to carry weapons on campus.
  • KLEIN ISD: Does not allow teachers to carry weapons on campus.


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