Gold-Burg ISD To Consider Policies On Defender Program

Gold-Burg ISD To Consider Policies On Defender Program

STONEBURG, TX (KAUZ) - Faculty and staff at Gold-Burg ISD will soon have the option to pack heat in the classroom. Officials with the district started emailing out information Friday for staff members interested in volunteering.

The defender program has been in the works for a while, but was passed by the school board about two weeks ago.

Now the work really begins for the district as they move forward in putting together policies.

"We'll talk about the guns the district would buy, the ammunition the district would use and that would be dependent upon how many people actually volunteer to do it," said Roger Ellis, Superintendent for Gold-Burg ISD.

Ellis is estimating the program to cost the district between $12,000 to $14,000.

It's all to keep students safe in case a gunman was ever to walk into the school.

"We're ten miles from Bowie, we're ten miles from Montague and so the answer time, the response time, is over 10 to 18 minutes," said Ellis. "Usually these incidents in the school happen in less than five."

Not every staff member will be eligible to participate, but those that do will have to meet certain training requirements. They would have to have a license to carry, and take additional training courses the district is offering this summer.

The summer training program is three days long with eight training hours required per day, according to Ellis.

The final decision on who will be armed will be left up to the school board.

"I'd ask for volunteers, I'd go through there and select volunteers then I would take those volunteers to the board in a closed session then the board would decide 'yes' or 'no' on each individual person," said Ellis.

The faculty members who end up carrying weapons on campus will not be identified. It's to add to the element of surprise, should an incident arise.

On top of training, some school districts also do psychological exams on those faculty members. Ellis said he doesn't believe that's something they will do in the Gold-Burg ISD, but he adds, faculty members will have to be with the district for sometime before being allowed to participate.

The school board will meet to discuss the policies for the program at the next school board meeting on April 18th.

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