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A completely new or alternative meaning to don’t ask, don’t tell might perhaps now be in effect in a Dallas-area school district.
Some teachers or other employees (a.k.a. guardians) are allowed to have guns on campus in the 1,100-student Grand Saline Independent School District under a concealed carry program the school board calls the Guardian Plan that is just in week two of implementation. It is designed to provide a safe and secure environment for students, as the superintendent outlined in a Facebook post.
“No one knows which teachers or staff members are armed — and [Superintendent Micah] Lewis says that’s intentional. The guardian keeps possession of the firearm at all times and the weapons are not stored on campus,” the New York Post reported.
“We don’t divulge where they are. We don’t divulge how many are on each campus or in each building. But it could be any employee in the district,” Lewis added about the guardians.
“Every time there was a school shooting, me and the board talked about it again,” Lewis explained. “If some crazy came in here, could we minimize the damage by being armed?”
The concealed weapons policy, which seemingly is a recognition of the potential of a devastating mass shooting incident, was implemented by officials after three years of discussions as well as consultation with local law enforcement officials, so the board did not go into this plan without careful consideration.
According to Education Week, 104 school shootings have occurred since 2018, and 12 this year so far.
As a prerequisite, Grand Saline guardians who volunteer for the program must be licensed to carry and undergo 40 hours of training under the auspices of the Texas Department of Public Safety as well as complying with a continuing education requirement in gun safety. Initial screening is also necessary for district employees who apply.
Teachers apparently and understandably have engaged in some extensive soul searching about a possible confrontation with an armed student or adult bent on mayhem.
“We’re educators. I hate that we have to do that, but again, you weigh it out. Do you take this student down if he’s mowing people down?” Superintendent Lewis wondered rhetorically. “It’s an easy answer. You take one to save many.”
“We believe this will serve as a deterrent to someone trying to harm our students, but if harmful action is taken against our students we have several staff members prepared to stop the threat,” Lewis asserted on Facebook.
“The ‘Guardian Plan’ will also help the one officer who patrols all the buildings on campus.” CBS19 noted.
The armed teacher program reportedly has received overwhelming support in the east Texas, Grand Saline community.
About 300 other school districts in Texas allow teachers to be armed.
Watch a report on the Grand Saline initiative aired by CBS19:
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