Fort Worth Gun Range Offers Free Courses for Teachers, Administrators

"It's not always about the good guy having the gun. It's really about the good guy having a plan."

Recent school shootings have sparked a nationwide debate over arming teachers.

In Texas, school districts have the option to train qualified staff members as "school marshals" and allow them to carry concealed weapons in classrooms. Only a few districts have opted to do that. 

Defender Training Academy, which operates a gun range in Fort Worth, said educators ought to at least be empowered with basic knowledge about how to defend their schools. It's why they offered free courses to teachers and administrators Saturday.

Holly Harris was one of the teachers who took them up on that offer.

"Sometimes I sit there and think, okay -- what would I do in this situation?" Harris said. "In the teachers lounge, we've had a lot of those discussions this year."

In addition to handgun basics, instructors walked the teachers through hands-on self-defense techniques and trauma care.         

"It's not always about the good guy having the gun," Edwina Parker, an instructor at Defender Training Academy, said. "It's really about the good guy having a plan."

Parker said in recent months, she has received an increasing number of calls from schools, teacher groups and even churches wanting additional training.

"We find that with training, we gain that confidence to react to a situation," Parker said.

The school district Harris works for does not currently allow teachers to carry. But now, she said, if that were to change, she'd be among the first to sign up.

"I would feel very confident with that responsibility," Harris said.

This was the first time Defender Training Academy has done something like this specifically for educators. They said they'll likely do more events like this in the future.

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