The Argyle Independent School District will begin arming some employees in their schools and district buildings.
On Tuesday night the AISD board of trustees voted to adopt a new policy that will allow certain staff members to possess certain firearms on district property, at district sponsored or sanctioned events and at board meetings.
In a release to the press, the district said comprehensive details of the program will not be released in order to maintain the integrity of the program; however they ensure several safeguards are in place.
They said the authorized staff members will be volunteers who are licensed to carry a firearm in the state of Texas. The carriers will have passed a rigorous interview with psychiatric evaluation, training and a vote by the school board.
The staff members will be overseen by the district’s chief of police and will be required to take ongoing training a requalify throughout the school year.
The move is part of the school marshal program that was authorized by the state legislature under the Protection of Texas Children Act. It’s an optional program for districts that was signed into law in order to boost law enforcement in schools through rigorous standards of training.
Argyle first began taking on the idea last April after a community forum on school safety. From that the district started its own police force, which went active in October, and began a pilot evaluation of the school marshal program.
According to the district release, that was a successful process and as a result Superintendent Telena Wright said they hope to start posting notifications at schools next week that the program is active and some staff members are armed.
The plan is getting mixed reactions from parents and community members; some of whom question bringing any guns into a public school while others wonder why it hasn’t happened sooner.
"You hear about it and you're like, Rreally, there's going to be arms? Teachers are going to have arms?'" said mother Zinnia Ochoa. "You have to see the cons and the pros about it I think."
"I think it's a great idea. I don't see anything wrong with it what-so-ever,” said Trish Blevins, of Argyle. "I just think it's very important for us to be aware of the situation and what could happen and I like the fact knowing that there's somebody in the school that can take action."
Other parents said they’re still making up their mind about the policy and are curious to see how it is implemented and how it goes over.