Harrold ISD talks Guardian Policy following Uvalde shooting
19 students and three teachers were killed during a school shooting in south Texas on Tuesday. One school district talks about why they prepare for the worst-case scenario by arming teachers.
HARROLD, Texas (KAUZ) - The tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde has reignited conversations on whether or not to arm teachers. One Texas school district says its decision to allow educators to carry handguns is essential to protecting its students.
Harrold ISD has armed its teachers under what’s called the Guardian Policy since 2007. Teachers and staff are trained to carry and use handguns in the event of an emergency, provided they have a concealed handgun license and have undergone extra training. Teachers said they believe they are prepared to act if necessary, and that the policy would help them protect their students.
“The tragedy at Uvalde, it is so sad. That you know evil happens, no matter what laws you pass, evil will always happen.”
A large part of why the district implemented the policy lies in the fact that Harrold is in a rural area and doesn’t have a police station. The closest law enforcement is 30 minutes away. If a shooter came to the school, how long would it take for help to arrive?
“If someone chose to, they could probably do a lot of damage in that length of time. With the people that we have here that the protection of the kids is our number one priority,” bus driver Jason Browning said. “I protect them from the time they get on my bus until the time they get off my bus.”
While arming teachers can be a controversial topic, Superintendent Cody Patton believes this policy gives them an advantage in the event of the unthinkable.
“If a situation was to occur or something, instead of just having to not be in control of the situation, we’ve taken steps to give us a little more control and put us at a level where we can protect our kids,” he said.
“We’ve had parents transfer their kids out here because of this policy,” agriculture teacher Russ Remsey said. “There’s been several, I can’t name how many, but there’s been several that just because of this policy, they’ve wanted that peace of mind knowing that there’s somebody there to help their kids in case something like this were to happen.”
While Harrold ISD mourns for the Uvalde community, they remain prepared and trained to act if necessary. In the words of band teacher Jesse Lotspeich: “Being a guardian school, if somebody did come in, I know that help would get there fast. I know that for a fact and we practiced that.”
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