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Texas senator proposes guns for teachers in all schools districts

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Mar 20 2013 07:52:33 PM CDT
Austin, Texas -

Guns in schools are still a widely debated issue following the shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut last December.

State Senator Dan Patrick, from Houston, proposed a bill to train school employees to carry firearms on campus.

The proposal is being received with mixed reaction. Wylie ISD Superintendent Joey Light is not sure armed teachers are the solution for all schools.

"I think Senator Patrick has good intentions," said Light. "I would just say that as we look at this issue, number one we need to allow local districts to see what works best in their district."

Some would said say guns and schools don't go together, but after the Sandyhook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

"It may very well be training teachers to help defend a campus, it may not be. But again, all of this is still a little raw and were trying to work towards continuing up with some good solutions for schools."

If Senator Patrick's bill passes it would apply to charter and public school districts that don't already have armed guards or resource officers.

"Schools are still one of the safest places in the world for kids. They just are," said Light. "They're aren't that many situations that occur in schools." With that said we don't want to become complacent and relaxed and not do everything we can to ensure that our most precious resource is protected."

Wylie, Abilene ISD, and a couple of other districts, Coleman, Sweetwater and Brownwood said they already have a resource officer on some campuses.

At least one school district in Texas allows teachers to carry handguns in classrooms. Harrold ISD has had this measure in place since 2007. The criteria for a teacher to carry are first, the teacher needs to have a concealed handgun license in Texas. They need to be approved by the school board. The teacher needs to receive advanced training and lastly, they can only use ammunition designed to minimize risk of ricochet in school halls.