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Texas Teachers Carrying Concealed Weapons Are Putting Kids In Danger

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chalkboard with bulletsTeachers and school officials in Harrold, Texas carry concealed guns to protect themselves and students in the event of a school shooting. As a parent, the thought of a shooter in my child’s school absolutely keeps me up at night, but the idea of hidden, loaded guns strolling the hallways on a daily basis would do nothing to make me feel like my child was safer.

CNN profiled Harrold school district superintendent David Thweatt as part of their CNN Guns Project. In 2007, in response to school shootings across the country, Thweatt’s school district passed The Guardian Policy in a effort to protect their own students. The policy, which was the first of its kind to be passed in the United States, allows teachers and administrators to carry concealed weapons.

Only the superintendent and the school board knows who’s armed and who is not, which makes me think faculty lunchrooms in Harrold are not places of lighthearted jokes like those I’ve seen on episodes of Glee, but rather more like a poker playing scene out of James Bond film, where you’re just holding your breathe waiting for the chaos to start.

Thweatt’s justification for allowing armed weapons to be in the same vicinity as kindergardeners and moody teenagers is simple math. He argues that Harrold district is the size of Rhode Island and is very rural, meaning that in the event of an emergency, first responders are thirty minutes away from getting to the school.

Thweatt also claims that he and his people would be better at handling a shooter than first responders, regardless of how quickly they arrived:

We know the lay out of the school. We know who the good people are, who the bad people are. Were going to be able to asses very quickly whats going on, where as someone coming in… don’t know what’s going on, who the bad people are.

There seems to be some logic in this statement, that knowing the location of classrooms potential hiding spaces could save lives at a time when precious minutes matter. But then again, Thweatt also said this:

If someone breaks into our homes, and there’s really no way for us to escape — if my children are there — it’s capital punishment. We’re not asking, ‘Hey, are you on drugs? Did you go into the wrong home?’

This lay person mentality of “shoot first, ask questions later” is exactly we have and need trained personal to handle shooter situations. It’s not the role of a teacher to decide when to shoot to kill, or who. And while school shootings are happening in this country at an alarming rate, the number of accidental deaths and shootings is much higher, even when people claim to practice responsible gun ownership. Although these school officials may think they are keeping their students safer this way, it’s a false sense of security. Having hidden, loaded guns around children is just a tragic accident waiting to happen. Sorry Texas, but this policy would make me more afraid to send my kids to school, not less.

(image: Shutterstock.com)