Spotlight On Harrold ISD: Teachers Carrying Handguns

Updated: Dec. 17, 2012 at 11:57 PM CST
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Harrold ISD is once again in the spotlight. In 2007 the district made a decision so controversial it made worldwide headlines. Teachers would be allowed to carry a gun to school. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy Newschannel 6 visited with Superintendent David Thweatt.

In the remote town of Harrold Texas where land is abundant but population isn't echoes of its so called Guardian Plan go further than the school hallway. School districts across the nation are looking at Harrold ISD and what they see is, for some, what they want.

"My mantra has been this, as school personnel, with school children here, we are our first responders," said Superintendent David Thweatt.

He believes teachers armed with a gun will prevent a school shooting.

"My goal is that if someone comes in and tries to hurt my little ones that they are killed," he said.

In 2007 the district adopted a policy called the guardian plan. It has four components but essentially teachers who have a concealed handgun license can carry a gun with them
to school.

In the five years it's been in place Superintendent Thweatt said there have been no incidents at the school and he attributes that to the extra security measures they've taken.

"It's like seeing a clock in the room it's not even in your mind you just know that it's there," said Junior Harrison Thweatt, David Thweatt's son.

"I like it because it kind of makes me feel safer, because it's Harrold and we don't have a police station here," said Junior Madison Templeton.

That was the main purpose for the guardian plan. The nearest law enforcement agency
was 30 minutes away. Should a shooter come to school, who would be left alive?

"We need to be here to protect our children not four, five, six minutes from now we need to protect them now with an active shooter," said Superintendent Thweatt.

Father of two Michael Hopkins agrees.

"I don't have any issues with it at all. If one of those guys gets to the school
and he's met with armed resistance he don't get to the classroom."

One-hundred-three students walk the hallways everyday. Superintendent Thweatt said its his job to protect his students and teachers the best he can.

"My call to the parents at the end of the day is your child is coming home, the bad guy, he's dead."

Superintendent Thweatt said Harrold ISD was the first in the nation to allow teachers to carry guns. Since then he's spoken with districts across the state about his guardian plan.

Teachers who carry must also undergo extra training and can only use frangible bullets. Those bullets prevent ricochet.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.