Gov. Perry OK with Gun-Toting Teachers
Texas School District OKs Pistols for Staff
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry indicated Monday he supports a tiny school district's decision to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes start later this month.
Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a policy change last year to allow employees to carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings.
"There's a lot of incidents where that would have saved a number of lives," Perry said.
Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses "unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution."
District policy requires a teacher carrying a gun to school to have a Texas concealed handgun license, be authorized by the district to carry the weapon, have training in crisis management and hostile situations and use ammunition designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
"The issue with handguns is the training and registration," Perry said. "After that, you're trained and registered."
The 110-student district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border. It has about 50 teachers and staff members
Asked if other school districts should take similar measures, Perry said, "It's up to those local school districts."
Superintendent David Thweatt has said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection.
Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change.