The meeting opened with a prayer.
“Help us make decisions that are in the best interest of our children,” said Cleburne ISD school board President Brent Easdon. Though the CISD boardroom was packed and trustees open to public discussion, only one attendee spoke his thoughts about the meeting’s hot-button agenda item: the possibility of selected staff carrying concealed guns on campuses.
Former CISD student Brad Stevens, a teacher at Hill College, told trustees he would be in favor of such a policy.
“The protection of our students is at the top of our list,” he said. “Even this morning, there was another shooting outside of Houston.” Stevens said he knew the topic was controversial, but it was due time to start talking.
“It’s time ... to make the bad guys leave us alone,” he said. “We have signs on our doors ... but bad guys don’t listen to what’s on the doors. They don’t pay attention to what the legislature says and they don’t care what we think. The purpose of the teacher is to educate and secondarily to keep their students safe and to protect them.”
Superintendent Tim Miller said there are several Cleburne police officers stationed at campuses at various times.
“We do have five armed personnel in the district right now,” he said. “Three from the city police department; school resource officers. Two deputies from the sheriff’s department that are currently officed at several of our schools.”
He said Cleburne patrol officers would be spending more time at campuses, to learn the layout of buildings and speak with students and staff. The presence of officers, he said, should be obvious to those driving by schools.
“It’s unfortunate that this is the time we live in,” said Easdon, turning the discussion to placing guns in teachers’ hands.