Students across the US are returning to classrooms for the fall semester. Many school districts resumed class last week and have sought to boost security since the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in May.
Calls for protecting the more than 50 million US public school students have grown louder since Uvalde. The tragedy haunts many parents as they send their kids off to school.
Some Democratic politicians and policymakers rejected calls for “hardening” schools. Meanwhile, Republicans have said adding school resource officers and arming teachers and administrators are deterrence measures that would allow for a quick response to neutralize active shooter situations — unlike what happened in Uvalde, where video footage shows it took local police officers 77 minutes to breach the classroom where the shooter was hiding.
The latest sign at least one school is trying something different — instead of inaction — is a private school in Texas that will soon allow teachers certified in a new firearms course to carry weapons on them at all times in school, according to Victoria Advocate, a daily newspaper published in Victoria.
Faith Academy will soon allow school personnel to carry concealed handguns. Training begins in the next couple of weeks and will involve dozens of hours of firearms training, which addresses student protection, interaction with first responders, tactics for denying intruders entry into a school, and increased handgun accuracy.
Faith Academy is planning on implementing a program that will allow teachers and staff to carry weapons at school.
The private Victoria Christian school is joining several area school districts in taking advantage of a Texas law that gives school officials the authority to let private individuals have guns on school premises, which is otherwise illegal.
This provision is often called the “guardian plan” or “guardian program,” though that name is not official.
Unlike most of the public school districts that have implemented such a plan, Faith’s teachers and staff will have the guns on their person during the school day, according to Principal Larry Long. — Victoria Advocate
Victoria Christian school is joining several area school districts in Texas and various parts of the country that have begun to harden schools.
Last month, Madison County Schools in North Carolina worked with the local sheriff’s office to install AR-15-style rifles in schools across the district so school resource officers could neutralize a threat immediately.
In July, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a new measure to expedite school firearms training for teachers.
Schools that are gun-free zones are favorite targets for mass shooters.
Recent data from Crime Prevention Research Center shows a high percentage of all mass shootings occur in gun-free zones.
Schools are a soft target. Once bad people understand there are ‘good guys and women’ with a gun in a school, they will be less likely to go in there and shoot.