Van ISD is a sleepy East Texas school district near Tyler, Texas that made the news last month when its board of trustees voted on a new policy for protecting its schools from the Adam Lanzas of the world.
It voted to authorize 30 teachers and staff members district-wide to carry concealed weapons on school campuses and at school events. This was per a recent state law that gives Texas school districts the option of arming its teachers. Here is a snippet of the announcement found on the district website.
“After consulting with our school attorney, local law enforcement, DPS officials, and pursuant to its authority under Texas Penal Code 46.03(a)(1), the board authorized specific school employees and other persons to possess certain firearms on school property, at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events, and at board meetings in accordance with board policy CKC(Local).”
“By approving this policy, the board addressed concerns about effective and timely response to emergency situations at schools including invasion of the schools by an armed outsider, hostage situations, students who are armed and posing a direct threat of physical harm to themselves or others, and similar circumstances.”
“Please rest assured that we will remain vigilant. Van ISD will continue to do everything we can to ensure that our children are educated in an environment that is safe, healthy, and supportive.”
The inclusion of having guns at board meetings, to me, is particularly affecting.
But these employees had to undertake a mandatory course in concealed handgun training, mandatory before being able to secure a concealed weapon permit in Texas.
And a good thing, too, otherwise we would have never heard about how a school custodian taking this course last night shot himself in the leg while engaged in one on one training after the class. The gun suffered a “mechanical failure” and it went off, the bullet ricocheting off the floor and slamming into his leg.
Well we all know that accidents like that cannot happen with school children around because, well, because of the training thing.
At last report, the school district was not in the process of rethinking its policy, so obviously they still think that students will be safer and healthier in the presence of armed teachers and custodians.