Education

Teachers Packing Heat

By Vaishali Honawar — August 18, 2008 1 min read

Teachers in one Texas district will be able to bring more than school supplies when they return to school this month.

They could be packing heat.

That’s right. Under a new school policy in Harrold County, teachers on the 110-student district’s sole campus will be allowed to carry guns to thwart any threats of gun attacks.

“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started,” Superintendent David Thweatt wrote on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Web site. Teachers who bring in guns, he added, would have to undertake crisis- management training first. They’d also, of course, need to have a license for the firearm.

The policy has provoked a firestorm of protest from school safety proponents. “There is a huge difference between having trained ... law-enforcement officers that are armed ... versus having teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers and other non-public safety professionals packing a gun in school with hundreds of children,” said Kenneth Trump, the president of the National School Safety and Security Services, who also warned about the possibility of an accidental shooting.

In Harrold, there appears to have been no threat so far that would require such a step. But Mr. Thweatt says he’s worried the school could be a target because it sits near a busy highway.

And who could argue with that?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.