District says no to teachers with weapons

District+says+no+to+teachers+with+weapons

The district has banned concealed weapons, even though school employees displayed interest in attaining one.

Claire Peralta, Staff Reporter

26 innocent people dead. Many remember the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. This incident has shown educators and administrators that their schools could be more vulnerable than they think, especially the faculty and staff of Kennedale ISD.

A little more than an hour away from campus, KISD held a concealed-handgun licensing class attended by more than 750 school district employees from across the state.  Those attending the class were educated about concealed weapons, and how to defend themselves against any potential violence.  But while some school districts are showing an increased interest in possession of concealed handguns, the Lovejoy ISD is making it clear that it will not be seeing weapons on campus any time soon.

“The district has completed a thorough security audit by Robert Bookout and Associates,” Superintendent Ted Moore said. “In addition, LISD brought in an additional security consultant to review our district practices related to security.  Neither the audit nor consultant recommended that safety would increase if staff carried guns.”

Instead of improving school safety, some students think a different problem would arise if staff members were allowed to have concealed weapons on campus.

“Kids could take advantage of the fact that a teacher had possession of a gun, and may get to it which would be a safety hazard,” freshman Caroline Brugge said.

Others agree that it wouldn’t increase the safety in schools.

“I think that the person with the right to carry could potentially not be able to defend themselves against someone trying to take away their gun,” school resources officer Mark Mitchell said.  “That would just add a safety risk to the school that wouldn’t have presented itself before.”

In an informal poll conducted The Red Ledger, 50 percent of teachers said they would consider attending a class on being able to carry a concealed weapon for safety.

“It would be a great program to go and learn,” art teacher Brice McCasland said.

While McCasland noted it might not be a good idea for every teacher on campus to have a gun, some students are open to the idea of a teacher with a gun.

“I think that if handled right, I wouldn’t mind if teachers had concealed guns to protect us,” sophomore Emily Teague said.  “They would need to learn safety first, but I don’t think it would be a problem.”

Even though some students might not mind, at least one parent would have concerns.

“I don’t think that allowing teachers to carry weapons in schools would increase the safety of students,” mother Julie Puckett said. “It would just be a misuse of (weapons).”