Argyle Returns to Class With Armed Staff Policy | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Argyle Returns to Class With Armed Staff Policy

Armed teachers policy gaining favor with many Argyle parents

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Argyle Independent School District goes back to class for their first full year with an "armed staff" policy. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014)

    It's been about seven months since the Argyle Independent School District began arming some staff members with concealed guns, and so far, many parents say it's become just an afterthought.

    Back in February, the district began implementing the new armed staff policy as an immediate response in an active shooter or danger situation.

    The carriers remain anonymous for safety, and district leaders say they're trained regularly and undergo mental evaluations.

    Signs have also been posted at all of the district's campuses since the policy began to warn of the rule and act as a deterrent to potential attackers.

    When the policy first started, many parents said they were unsure of the move, but now it seems to have settled in for most.

    On Tuesday, the majority of parents who were asked while waiting to pick up their students at Hilltop Elementary and at the school's secondary campus said that they had grown to favor the policy.

    "I think it's kind of old news," said Argyle graduate and nanny Katelyn Arthur, who admits to being skeptical at first. "It was kind of like, 'Oh, that's a little weird, you know, teachers having guns in our classrooms. I think it's really positive, truthfully."

    "I think it's terrific, and I think every school in America ought to be doing it," said Argyle resident Don Hill. "I've talked to a few people, and the ones that I have talked to think it's great."

    Not everyone praised the policy though.

    One parent said he was very uncomfortable with the possible problems that could come from a gun being in a school, including the possibility of a carrier being disarmed in a bad situation or a student getting his or her hands on a weapon.

    A few parents chose not to speak on the record on the topic, citing the controversy that still exists for the Argyle policy and the growing trend of schools considering a school marshal program.

    Still, many of the parents who praised the program said that it was a shame arming teachers even had to become a conversation in the first place.

    Superintendent Telena Wright said Tuesday that the Argyle program runs a little differently than many traditional marshal programs, and she's had other superintendents asking about how it's gone for AISD.

    Wright said, so far, the response has been mostly positive and the district has worked closely to ensure that the program functions as safely and successfully as possible. She also cited the district's new police force for helping increase security at the district in the past year and for helping to make the program work so far.

    Argyle is one of a few districts to implement an armed staff policy at this point, but the Texas state legislature has come out in favor of giving districts the option of doing so by passing the Protection of Texas Children Act, which allows school marshals.