An East Texas school district has become the second in the state to allow select, licensed and trained teachers to possess a firearm on campus. Union Grove ISD school board has approved a resolution to allow firearms on campus in the possession of select employees.
They join Harrold ISD, a small district North of Wichita Falls, as the only other district in Texas to have such a policy. Parents and school officials have offered overwhelming support. Union Grove ISD's decision was not made lightly, they say.
"If somebody came into our school meaning to do harm to our kiddos, would you want somebody up here to stop that as quickly as possible? Overwhelmingly, the answer was yes. Unfortunately, it's the world we're living in, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Amish schoolhouse so we want to be proactive," said Union Grove superintendent Brian Gray.
The policy states only those school employees who have obtained and then maintain a current license to carry a concealed handgun, in accordance with state law, are eligible to be selected.
"We're talking about in-depth training, whether that be with licensed contractors, security or law enforcement. Having armed staff members throughout the district in case of emergency," Gray says.
The goal is to have someone ready while waiting for law enforcement, and be the first line of defense.
"We may have a deputy two minutes away, but likelihood maybe 15 minutes away," Gray says.
Parents don't think this is over-reacting.
"I think it's a great idea. I think they all need to carry, I'm a license carrier myself and that's one way to protect our kids," says parent Mindy Borden.
"We're in a small community; here, the likelihood of something like that happening here is probably a rare occurrence, but those other schools probably thought the same thing also. If something were to happen, you'd want to stop it before a shot ever gets fired," says Brian Mayhan, the father of three Union Grove students.
The select teachers will not be disclosed. The Union Grove school board is considering allocating $10,000 a year in its budget to pay for training. Officials say they will implement the policy over the next few months.
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:08 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:08:09 GMT
(WMC) - WMC Action News 5 has uncovered disturbing new details of the allegations behind the rape charge against a Mid-South millionaire businessman. WMC Action News 5's Nick Kenney took the new informationMore >>
Twenty toothbrushes, eight flash drives, four guns, nipple clamps, sex toys, lingerie: those are just a few of the items seized from the property of a Memphis businessman charged with rape. More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:52 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:52:07 GMT
The state's vehicle inspection law is now coming under closer scrutiny, with critics saying it's not necessary and unenforceable.More >>
Every day, hundreds of Mississippians get their cars inspected to make sure they are in proper driving condition. Also every day, hundreds of others don't. The state's vehicle inspection law is now coming under closer scrutiny, with critics saying it's not necessary and unenforceable.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:36 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:36:56 GMT
It was a sad morning in Gulfport as a community helped a family say goodbye to five year old Janaya Thompson. More >>
It was a sad morning in Gulfport as a community helped a family say goodbye to five year old Janaya Thompson. Her memorial service got underway just after 11 Tuesday morning at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Gulfport. People who knew Janaya stood up and shared stories of the little girl who had touched their lives. "Naya" could light up a room and make people smile.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:04 AM EDT2014-07-22 05:04:40 GMT
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber spoke out Monday on the sudden resignation of JPD Chief Lindsey Horton. The mayor praised former Chief Horton's work over the past year and his help with the administrative transition. ButMore >>
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber praised former Police Chief Lindsey Horton's work over the past year and his help with the administrative transition. But refuted rumors that Horton was forced out or asked to leave.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:29 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:29:26 GMT
The man arrested for the brutal murder of 67-year-old Ruth Helen Harrion went before a judge on Tuesday and was denied bond. 29-year-old Alonzo Stewart is charged with capital murder. Authorities sayMore >>
29-year-old Alonzo Stewart is charged with capital murder. Authorities say he lived a few houses away from Harrion in the Bel-Air Subdivision in Northwest Jackson.