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Tx school district lets teachers, staff pack pistols

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jbartlett61, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. jbartlett61

    jbartlett61 New Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    Hurst, Texas

    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. papajohn

    papajohn Member

    Dec 1, 2007
    Coastal Missouri
    Hallelujah! Common sense comes to the hallowed halls! Now if we could just get that passed everywhere else................

  3. db_tanker

    db_tanker Participating Member

    Apr 22, 2005
    Spring, Texas
    and here I was thinking the laws would start being passed in Utah or Arizona...not my own beloved Texas.

    I can still be proud of Texas from time to time. :)

  4. onebigelf

    onebigelf Member

    Aug 7, 2006
  5. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas
    Cool, and 46:03(1) says the schools have the power to grant this. The law has been there for a while now. Nobody wanted to act on it.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  6. bdickens

    bdickens Active Member

    May 1, 2008
    Houston, TX
    God bless Texas!
  7. Telumehtar

    Telumehtar New Member

    Jun 13, 2008
  8. NG VI

    NG VI Senior Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Awesome, good thing at least some people are still thinking with their noggins.
  9. jrfoxx

    jrfoxx Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2004
    Good for Texas. Hopefully this will serve as a model/example that proves allowing licensed CCW'ers to carry in schools does NOT cause "blood in the streets".

    OR is close, it is legal for ANYONE with a permit to carry in/on ANY school/college/university property, which is good also, but if you are a sutedent or employee, you can (and I'll bet will) be expelled/fired. So while LEGAL here, it's still lacking a bit for those that attend or work for these places.

    But, given the choice between dead, or alive but expelled/fired, I'll take the latter, personally. We just need to combine the two things, so it's not only legal for ALL ccw license holders to carry, but also that students and employees are protected from expulsion/firing.

    The good news is that between OR, Utah (and any of the other couple states I may be forgetting that make it LEGAL to carry in schools), and now this Texas district allowing employees to carry without any risk of firing, we have multiple examples that prove allowing staff, students, parents, and visitors to carry legally, AND now, without risk of losing your job, we can eventually use the lack of incidents/problems to push for combing them them so its legal for all, AND people dont have to choose betwen the risk of not carrying, and the risk of losing your job if discovered.
  10. Steve H

    Steve H Participating Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    Southern Utah
    I would also think Utah also, but if I remember right a few years back the University of Utah was trying to ban guns on campus.
  11. Girodin

    Girodin Mentor

    Mar 22, 2008
    In Utah teachers/staff can carry. The University of Utah tried its best to thumb its nose at state law. The state law grants the power to regulate guns to the state legislature alone. That means the U of U being a state institution can not make its own ban. There was a lawsuit and the U of U lost.

    Utah has real good gun/self defense laws for the most part. There are numerous state legislators who carry while on capital hill. A particular political party holds super majorities in both houses and thus gun rights are failry safe from the desires of the other major party.
  12. nplant

    nplant Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Don't think that the teachers have any special legal permissions, guys and gals. Here's the linchpin to the whole thing:
    That oughtta be enough to keep teachers from packin' heat.
  13. jahwarrior

    jahwarrior Participating Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Dickson City, PA
    this is one of the hotly debate topics in my home. i firmly believe that schools are primary targets for [sickos], and as such, should have armed security, at all times. my g/f quite strongly disagrees. i for one applaud mr. thweatt's decision. it's common knowledge that people who obtain a license or permit to legally carry a gun are way less likely to commit a crime with that gun. the fact that the people who would be armed are mostly teachers and school staff makes the situation even safer, in my opinion.

    my parents are retired teachers. they worked in NYC their entire careers, in the Bronx, specifically. both of them told me horror stories of students, or trespassers, committing violent crimes within the walls of their schools. my father personally had to confront and disarm a guy with a knife, who was looking for his ex wife, a colleague of my father's. fter that, neither one went to work unarmed. yeah, they were breaking the law. if they were caught, they would have lost their jobs, and probably would have been arrested. but, they felt, it was better than the alternative. more specifically, my dad said once, "the parents of these kids trust me to keep these kids safe for them. if some summanumbitch did something to them during my watch, i could never live with that."

    those parents trusted the lives of their kids with my parents. i trust the lives of my kids to their teachers. it's the right thing to do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2008
  14. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints New Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    Email him!!!!

    I think we should ALL send HUGE KUDOS to Harrold Independent School District Superintendent David Thweatt. You can bet your life the gun-grabbers are hammering him by email and by phone. We need to counter the grabbers lest Sup. Thweatt be discouraged.

    His email: david.thweatt@harroldisd.net

    Thweatt has guts, and as the Gunny said, “….guts is enough.”
  15. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Senior Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Thank you God! This will hopefully get the ball rolling in my state.
  16. SCKimberFan

    SCKimberFan Participating Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    South of the Mason-Dixon Line
    It seems as though every one of the first 20 or so who commented on this have forgotten all about Colombine.

    I think this is a good idea and would like to see it happen more places.
  17. neviander

    neviander Active Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    Kilgore, TX
    'bout time Texas did something.....Texas like :D
  18. FCFC

    FCFC Has Never Owned a Gun

    Jan 11, 2007
    Seems to me that the school has special circumstances--very small, distant from emergency police response, gun-favorable state, non-teen students, etc. that make it a good experiment for a few armed faculty or staff.

    Especially with the required "crisis training," it ought to be work out just fine.

    However, the Harrold school's new situation is hardly generalizable to the vast majority of other schools in the U.S.

    Heaven help Harrold if they have an accidental discharge or some other negative outcome.

    Harrold's pretty much a no win situation for those that want guns in schools. Unless, of course, some armed loon attacks the school and is shot down by a teacher or staff.

    Hmm, I wonder what Harrold's legal liability costs are effective August 25?
  19. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Senior Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    No, it's a win for Texas. If one small Texas town does this, so will other small Texas towns. Eventually bigger Texas towns will do it, then cities, etc. Once it catches on in Texas, it's sure to catch on in the rest of the South.
  20. bcp

    bcp New Member

    Nov 23, 2006
    SW WA

    "Decades ago, Israel adopted a policy that swiftly ended terrorist attacks against schools. Earlier this year, Thailand adopted a similar approach. It is politically incorrect, but it does have the advantage of saving the lives of children and teachers. The policy? Encourage teachers to carry firearms.
    ...If we are really serious about gun laws that protect “the children,” then it seems clear that — whatever other gun laws a society adopts — every civilized nation at risk of terrorist attack ought to ensure that armed teachers can protect innocent children."

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