Cleburne ISD, at it’s Tuesday meeting, will be yet another school district discussing whether concealed guns on campus are a good idea.
The district follows rural districts Harrold and Union Grove ISDs with about 100 students and about 750 students, respectively. Both have enacted policies about concealed carry according to The Associated Press.
Union Grove trustees voted unanimously Thursday to allow select teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms for school security, the AP said.
UGISD enacted the policy after Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst recently released a statement urging the Texas Senate to consider, among other things, using state funding to provide gun training for school employees.
Harrold ISD has had its policy in place for five years, said Cleburne ISD Superintendent Tim Miller. HISD Superintendent David Thweatt told Miller there has been no need to fire a gun in those five years, Miller said.
Miller said it’s time that larger school districts, such as CISD with 7,000 students and about 1,000 employees, begin to consider allowing employees to voluntarily carry concealed weapons.
The discussion will be “under what steps, measures and protections would we allow our employees to voluntarily arm themselves and whether the school district thinks it’s a good idea,” school board Trustee Stu Madison said. “If they agree to carry it on them and not leave it in a purse or a desk, and if they agree to use safety slugs [bullets], the most important part is if they would be willing and able to pass a proficiency test with the Cleburne Police Department.”
School board President Brent Easdon said the district has discussed security for years, and he is in favor of allowing select employees to carry concealed handguns.
“I think a lot of Texas schools are going to look at carrying,” Easdon said. “Allowing teachers to carry doesn’t cost anything and it is a personal choice. There would not be a list of what teacher does or does not carry. Just the idea that the public perceives or knows that weapons are allowed to be carried on campus by staff, then that will be a deterrent to at least the sane person.”
Easdon said teachers who have a Texas Concealed Handgun License would be required to apply for permission to carry the gun to school and be responsible for associated costs.
Miller said he wasn’t sure if trustees would take action or not, adding that discussion on the matter would continue for some time.
Trustees also plan to tackle the idea of securing the front entry areas of all elementary schools.
“There is already one way in and one way out,” Madison said. “But if there were a threat, there is no way to stop them. It would probably be a magnet entrance like the one at Guinn [Justice Center]. At least that’s a little more secure for who gets in the school and who doesn’t.”
Miller said that secured entries would discourage those with ill intentions from entering the school, as well as slow down someone with a weapon.
Trustees will also discuss equipping the elementary campuses with security cameras, something which the high school and middle schools already have.
Trustees meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom at 505 N. Ridgeway Drive.
For more information, including the rest of the meeting agenda, visit www.cleburne.k12.tx.us.