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:
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.