Friday, August 15, 2008

Texas, by Gawd!

Tiny Harrold, Texas, has gone and tied knots in a whole bunch of busybody's knickers.

According to the always-reliable Mainstream Media, the Harrold Independent School District has become the first in the nation to authorize teachers to carry guns while on school property.

The real money quotes come from the article in the regional newspaper:

By Linda Stewart
For the Times Record News
Friday, August 15, 2008

VERNON (Special) — Harrold school district Superintendent David Thweatt’s recent television coverage of his district’s policy of letting some of his faculty carry handguns failed to tell the whole story, and even suggested that what they are doing is illegal or against school policy.

The idea was researched for about a year and a half before any action was taken to implement the emergency plan. The people involved go through extensive initial training and regular follow-up training, Thweatt said.

The small rural school is located in Wilbarger County just off U.S. 287 between Vernon and Electra. Response time from law enforcement agencies ranges from a minimum of 20 minutes to possibly 30 minutes if a life-threatening or dangerous situation were to arise, Thweatt said.

The superintendent said following much research, asking many hard questions and conferences with state officials, new security measures were implemented.

The district’s school board passed a policy Oct. 22, 2007, that would allow certain faculty members to possess the weapons. Thweatt said the school has about 25 faculty members, including himself.

“Out of that number, from one to 25 of those faculty members has undergone extensive training,” he said. He declined to provide an exact number for security reasons.

Thweatt said the policy approved by the school board requires that each person who has possession of a handgun be approved by the board on an individual basis.

Only those school employees who have obtained and maintain a current license, in accordance with state law, to carry a concealed handgun are eligible to be authorized to possess a firearm on school property, the policy states.

It also said any school employee authorized to possess a firearm on school property shall be provided additional training in crisis intervention and management of hostage situations.

Once approved, participating faculty members undergo specialized training to meet the needs of the school system and are required to participate in ongoing training throughout the year. Those approved must have a concealed handgun in their possession at all times, Thweatt said.

He said faculty members involved were required to take the standard concealed handgun course and additional training for their situation at the school.

“The training they did receive was very intense and very appropriate for our situation,” Thweatt said.

The superintendent said the school didn’t have the resources to pay a police officer or security guard.

Thweatt said the school system has the same magnetic strips used by many courthouses and banks that allow a keyless entry in place for several years. Entry to the school can only be made through one door during school hours.

The school boasts a state-of-the-art security system, he said. Buttons are located in the office areas that will sound an alarm and automatically lock all doors in the school when activated.

The alarms are used only for a dangerous situation that requires a lockdown. An intercom system is used to alert students and faculty of impending tornados, fires, etc. Security cameras are also located throughout the school.

The school is located near Burlington Northern Railroad tracks, and buses are kept ready to load students and head out in the event of a toxic situation involving train traffic, he said.

“What we have done is the best of the best,” Thweatt said. “We are as connected as we can get.”

He said Burkburnett school officials came to look at Harrold’s system and adopted same security system for their buildings.

With help so far away, officials started looking at the state law and discovered that the school board has the power to make whoever they choose within the faculty school police officers.

The superintendent said it’s unfortunate to come to the point to have to take what some might consider drastic measures.

“I think making schools gun-free zones was one of the stupidest things ever done on earth,” Thweatt said.

Highlights are, of course, mine.

The thought of the impending aneurysms on the East and Left Coasts actually makes me giggle a bit.

The betting pool is now open on how long it will take for some interfering Statist meddlers to begin sticking their noses off in Harrold -- and Texas -- business.

Welcome to Texas. Now, piffle off and leave us alone.

If anyone would like to drop by and give the Harrold ISD -- and its superintendent -- an "Attaboy", their webpage is here:
Harrold ISD

LawDog

EDIT:

On the Harrold ISD homepage linked above, click the "Faculty and Staff" button on the top bar.

On the "Faculty and Staff" page, look to the left. Just under the blue box on the left, you will see a "List and E-Mail" button. Clicking on this will bring up the e-mails of all Harrold ISD staff, with Mr. David Thweatt at the very top.

LawDog

31 comments:

Phillip said...

I looked up the super's e-mail address last night and sent an e-mail thanking him for his courage and dedication to his student's welfare. I'd suggest as many people as possible do the same.

Jamie said...

It's about time that somebody took safety this seriously. Instead of sitting back and expecting somebody else to come to their rescue, this school is taking the initiative to be prepared. Way to go!

Hammer said...

I hope this becomes a trend.

Of course, just like the 40 shall issue states that have had no problems with "blood in the streets",every school that adopts this policy will have to face critics that will scream "blood in the halls" no matter how many schools sucessfully adopt this policy.

Blackeagle said...

Public school teachers in Utah can already do this. The way Utah's preemption law is written, no governmental entity, including school districts, can prohibit anyone with a CCW permit from carrying.

Jerry The Geek said...

Everybody seems to be taking this with unseemly aplomb.

Allow me to inject some Geekish enthusiasm into the dialogue:

Hooray! Hooray!

I've got two grandkids living in Texas. When they get big enough, I'll recommend to their parents that they move to Tiny Harold, Texas so they can put their kids into that school district.

On the other hand, the twins were only born twelve hours ago. Maybe by the time they're old enough for school, the whole country will have waked up to the realization that "Gun Free Zones" can also be described as "Target-Rich Environment", and all schools will have embraced this common-sense gun control policy.

Yeah, right.

Matt G said...

Note, too, that Harrold ISD has achieved Recognized status. Not an easy task. (Yes, yes-- we need to find a better way of measuring school efficacy. But still, you'll not usually find a screwed up school that makes "Recognized" or "Exemplary.")

In other words, they're keeping their eye on the ball-- educating their students, safely. What a great thing.

Popgun said...

Great news! I hope the rest of the country figures out that No Gun Zones don't work.

-Popgun

Dad29 said...

One of my chilluns is a college student in Texas.

The other day, we were discussing the deteriorating situation regarding freedoms (like to worship, earn money, speak freely) and Wisconsin's collusion in that deterioration.

She offhandedly remarked that if the SHTF, she'd move to Texas, where (in her opinion) nobody takes any guff from Gummints or the usual Lefty nannies.

Let's hope that her opinion is valid and remains so for the next 10-20 years--there may be a large influx of fed-up Northerners.

Anonymous said...

dad29--

Except, unfortunately, for the "Democratic Peoples' Republic of Austin". Also known as "Moscow on the Colorado".

Anthony said...

I couldn't find the email...anyone know where it can be found or what it is. This man deserves a medal of honor for making sure these kids are protected as much as possible, and he is doing it sensibly, by allowing the teachers to do it.

What a great guy.

Anthony

Akatsukami said...

The blood will indeed run in the halls, hammer. However, it will be the blood of those politely referred to on this web site as "critters".

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll tell you: about 15 years ago, I was subbing in a jr. hi. school in a small city of 160,000 people. The bell rang for recess, and one of the larger boys (age 13) remained behind. I told him to go on outside.
Next thing I knew, he had his handy dandy pig sticker out and was waving it under my chin. I told him to put it away and get his macho hombre jollies elsewhere.
He leaned in closer and told me I couldn't make him do a thing but that he could make me play any game he wanted me to.
So, I held up my index finger, reached into my purse with my other hand and pulled out my handy dandy .22 pistol, and said, "Ok. Guess who is going to win this game?"
Needless to say, he went outside. I went to the principal's office and told him what had taken place.
You know what happened next. Oh, come on; what do WASPS say when faced with possible child violence?
Yeah, you got it: "But he's just a child."
Uhm hum. Right. And because he's a 'child' he can't kill me?
Bullshit. In my book, I don't care how old they are in years, but anytime anyone waves a weapon at me, he's adult.
It's about time teachers, as adults, were protected against what has become all too common child violence. Maybe they will be able, with proper training, to protect the more innocent students as well.
LawMom

Anonymous said...

The warms my heart. I remember my father telling me about how when he was a boy, they'd take their guns to school so they could get a head start on rabbit hunting.

Good times back then.

Ky Person

Lergnom said...

Lawmom,
Ma'am;
+1 on what you wrote. To quote Captain Forsyth of Professional Protectives, LTD.,
"If you're going to play grownup games, you'd better be ready to pay grownup prices."
Stolen from L. Neil Smith's "Brightsuit MacBear".

LauraB said...

Thanks so much for the post and the email info - congratulatory msg sent. Reason over emotion - it's a beautiful thing to see in action.

Anonymous said...

Another name for "Gun-Free Zones" could be "Sitting Duck Zones."

One of my sons had a football teammmate whose dad was a county deputy. He attended all the games, out of uniform, and armed with a concealed weapon. That handgun never once got taken off him, nor did it ever jump out of the holster and hurt anyone. It was also reassuring to know that there was at least one extra armed person present at the games, just in case.

Sabra said...

These are the arguments I have seen against it so far:

1) Seems a little drastic for such a small school system.
2) How long 'til a student steals a teachers gun and uses it to kill someone?
3) It's hard to know what to do, but more guns isn't the answer.
4) I don't need the nearsighted 65 yo teacher with a bad case of the tremors having a gun.
5) Another thing that freaks me out a lot is the idea that if teachers are assumed to have guns, it becomes logical to take us out immediately. So, it actually puts me, an unarmed teacher, in greater danger than I would be otherwise.
6) It's an overreaction. It opens the door for all kinds of accidents to happen and frankly, the first time something does happen, that school system will be sued out of existence.
7) I can't see anything good coming out of that.
8) Most teachers aren't trained in firearms well, because if they were, they probably would be doing some other job, like the police force or the military.


These are all actual quotes, by the way, and the few of them that are vaguely logical are easy to shoot down.

Old NFO said...

Bout damn time somebody grew some balls! At least it comes from Texas, and you're right LD, it would never happen on the East Coast...

phlegmfatale said...

It's nice to hear good news for a change.

Tim said...

Here's what I sent the super super.

Mr. Thweatt,

Congratulations on your brave decision to allow faculty and staff with a chl to carry at school.

I think and hope that, like Florida's 1987 implementation of a "shall-issue" chl process which soon spread to many other states, actions like yours will gain a foothold across the country.

I'm very happy that someone has started the ball rolling, and wish you all the best.

Please don't let the nervous nellies' hysterics discourage you.

Respectfully,

Tim Reedy

Anonymous said...

lergnom, I appear to be an inadvertent plagerist. Or maybe it's a case of great minds.....
LawMom

Anonymous said...

Y'know, I'm about as liberal as they come...and I think that, given this school's circumstances, this decision makes sense. If you ask me, guns are not the problem. Stupid or criminal behavior with guns is the problem. Want to own a gun? Fine with me, so long as you make sure that you get yourself some training, and you are taking precautions to ensure that your gun isn't going to become part of a tragic accident. Making guns illegal isn't going to take them away from the critters of the world.

But then, I grew up on a farm. Dad had a rifle and a shotgun. I knew where they were...and I also knew what would happen if I touched one of them without permission. Never did learn to shoot, but I do know that a gun is not, in and of itself, going to jump out of the holster and hurt someone.

In the case of this school, it seems that they are ensuring that those who will be carrying are trained. And given the response times for law enforcement...well, it seems to me that they need some reasonable alternative. I hope they never need to use it.

Eby said...

Re:5) "Another thing that freaks me out a lot is the idea that if teachers are assumed to have guns, it becomes logical to take us out immediately. So, it actually puts me, an unarmed teacher, in greater danger than I would be otherwise."

I'd love to hear someone spout this line. Any teacher not willing to risk his own life to safeguard children needs a new line of work.

Body-blocking bullets while you shove kids out the (ground floor) windows should be part of your job description.

Anonymous said...

Teachers need hazard pay these days.
LawMom

Bob S. said...

Here is a another sign of the type of people the school district has out there. The superintendent replied to an email that I sent, personally.

Bob,

Thank you for your supportive email. I have and will be sharing your thoughts with my staff and board of trustees. Your email was one of the many positive emails I have received—I’ve only received about three negatives out of about fifty. Please encourage others to stand up for the American values that have made the country great—taking responsibility for ourselves and protecting the lives of our innocents who are not able to defend themselves.

God Bless America, and God bless you for your thoughtfulness,

David Thweatt

Superintendent

Harrold ISD--Texas


Please, everyone, let's bury those few negative replies in an avalanche of supporting emails.

Hecate said...

The Times Record News has a poll up now about armed teachers:

...Teachers Carrying Guns...

Let's show them how we feel.

aarone said...

Mr. Thweatt,

Very Good Sir! I applaud your choice in arming certain teachers in your district as a step in ensuring the safety of the children in your charge.

I see that in other areas, your district is prepared for various incidents that might endanger the students and staff. This seems like a logical extension especially the response time for the local SD.

Please ignore the shrill, whiny, hand-wringing voices decrying your choice. They know not of which they speak and still think that there is no evil in the world which can not be prevailed over by "Good Thoughts". You see far more clearly, for which you I commend you.

Stay the course,

Respectfully,

Aaron Everett

fuzzys dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fuzzys dad said...

I just sent a email saying Thank-You.

Jeff Miller said...

I live in the PRC (People's Republic of California). I just wish that the school supers out here had Mr. Thweatt's stones. Our kids would be safer.

TipsDog said...

horee.... Everyone seems