Cleburne ISD Considers Arming Teachers

District among first in North Texas to tackle controversial issue

By Scott Gordon
|  Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013  |  Updated 7:58 AM CDT
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The Cleburne Independent School District on Tuesday night will become one of the first districts in North Texas to consider allowing some teachers to carry concealed guns.

Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News

The Cleburne Independent School District on Tuesday night will become one of the first districts in North Texas to consider allowing some teachers to carry concealed guns.

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The Cleburne Independent School District on Tuesday night will become one of the first districts in North Texas to consider allowing some teachers to carry concealed guns.

Five police officers already work in Cleburne's 13 schools, but the school board is asking if that's enough to prevent a tragedy like the Newtown, Conn., massacre.

"We're at the very beginning stages of talking about it,” said Superintendent Tim Miller. “I don't anticipate any action being taken Tuesday night just because it's a pretty controversial topic."

Around the Johnson County town of 30,000, opinions are split.

Special education teacher Mavis Bryan doesn’t like the idea of arming teachers.

"I would go with the armed guards,” she said. “I think that would be better because they are more trained than a lay person."

A retired police officer disagreed.

"I feel like to make our children more safe, if it takes a few select teachers to go along with the law enforcement -- because I am retired law enforcement -- then I'm for that,” he said.

The superintendent said he personally does not support arming teachers.

"If we're going to put more firearms in the schools, I'd rather put them in the hands of our police and our sheriffs instead of our employees,” Miller said.

School board president Brent Easdon said he would vote to allow teachers to pack a pistol if the district can set up a system of proper screening and training.

“We don’t want this to be a knee-jerk reaction,” Easdon said. “But we want to be proactive and not reactive.”

He said he has already heard from people on both sides.

“Some are for it, some are against it,” Easdon said.

The Cleburne school district covers 209 square miles and employs 900 people. The student enrollment is 6,800.

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