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A small Texas school district with an enrollment of roughly 1200 is now permitting some of the teachers to carry firearms to protect the students.
The Grand Saline Independent School District, east of Dallas, started permitting the teachers to carry firearms in late February. Superintendent Micah Lewis told The New York Post, “Every time there was a school shooting, me and the board talked about it again. If some crazy came in here, could we minimize the damage by being armed?”
He added, “We’re educators. I hate that we have to do that, but again, you weigh it out. Do you take this student down if he’s mowing people down? It’s an easy answer. You take one to save many.”
Lewis told CBS 19:
I figured that in the community of Grand Saline we would have support. There’s going to be a few people that question, why would you want to do that? We just weighed out, do we think that our kids are more safe or less safe if we do this, and we feel like our kids would be more safe if we enacted the Guardian Plan.
It could be anyone, it could be any employee of the district. And we don’t divulge who that is, of course, we don’t divulge where they are. We don’t divulge how many are on each campus or in each building. But it could be any employee in the district.
Lewis said that district employees who want to carry the firearms must have a license to carry and apply for the program to enter screening and training with the Texas Department of Public Safety, entailing 40 initial hours of training initially and further training on a continuous basis. The staffers must also have a license to carry.
“The guardian keeps possession of the firearm at all times and the weapons are not stored on campus,” The Post noted.
“One of the guardians said to me, ‘Can you believe that we’re to this point? When I went into education 30 years ago, I never thought this would happen,’” Lewis said, concluding, “Ninety-five percent of people here support this. The only people who have not supported it are outsiders.”
One Grand Saline resident told CBS 19, “I think that handguns in schools are something that’s necessary these days. People go crazy. They bring guns in school and start killing people. I mean there’s been too much of it going on.”
Teachers who wish to participate in Texas’s school armed marshal program, which was implemented after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 must undergo active shooter drills as well as 80 hours of training. School marshals must keep their weapons locked up and away from students unless their main job does not involve “regular, direct contact with students,” in which case they are allowed to carry a concealed firearm.