Argyle ISD Begins Arming Some Employees Monday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC 5 News

    A new policy arming some Argyle Independent School District employees with guns is now in effect.

    As of Monday morning, signs notifying the public of the policy were in place at Argyle High School.

    The signs have been placed at each of the three driveways onto school property - each one sits about 3 to 4 feet high.

    The notice to visitors reads:

    ATTENTION – PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE STAFF AT ARGYLE ISD ARE ARMED AND MAY USE WHATEVER FORCE IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT OUR STUDENTS

    Superintendent Telena Wright said that the notifications are being prepared by maintenance crews to go up as soon as possible in Argyle's three other campuses.

    Under the new policy, select staff members, whose identities will not be released, are authorized to carry a firearm on school properties and to school events and meetings.

    The district said these employees volunteered for the positions. They have and will continue to undergo extensive training, are licensed to carry a concealed weapon, and have passed a psychiatric evaluation.

    The district also noted in a press release that the school board must approve each staff member and the program will be overseen by the district’s new chief of police.

    The school board began talks about adopting an armed staff policy last spring. The plan was approved about two weeks ago. The district also re-voted to clarify the new policy last week and it was passed  again without any issues.

    The district is one of the first in the state to adopt a so-called “school marshal” policy since the state legislature authorized the law enforcement extension in last year’s Protection of Texas Children Act.

    Many folks still have differing opinions about the option to bring guns into a school at all.

    Several Argyle parents said they’re still making their own decisions about the new policy in the schools.

    "I'm torn both ways,” said Kevin Sanderson, of Argyle. “I think at the end of the day, as long as our kids are safer, I think that'll be the best thing, and I think that's what our school board has in mind."

    A few substitute and former teachers told us they’re in favor of the plan. They feel it will add more security and peace of mind for their fellow educators, parents and students.

    "I think we've come to a point in time in our lives that that's going to be a part of what goes on in the world,” said retired teacher Laura Hill.

    The Argyle ISD is not releasing publicly many of the fine details about the policy in order to protect its integrity and safety. The district said the safety of everyone in the district, especially the students, is the number one priority.