In the tiny Texas town of Harrold, children and their parents don’t give much thought to security at the community’s lone school—in part because some of the teachers are carrying concealed weapons.
In remote Harrold, the nearest sheriff’s office is 30 minutes away, and people tend to know—and trust—one another. So the school board voted to let teachers have guns in school.
“We don’t have money for a [school] security guard, but this is a better solution,” Superintendent David Thweatt said. “A shooter could take out a guard or officer with a visible, holstered weapon, but our teachers have master’s degrees, are older, and have had extensive training. And their guns are hidden. We can protect our children.”
In the awful aftermath of last week’s Connecticut elementary school shooting, lawmakers in a growing number of states—including Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Oregon—have said they will consider laws allowing teachers and school administrators to carry firearms at school.
But critics, including the nation’s two principals’ organizations, say having more guns in school would not boost school security and could do more harm than good.
(Next page: More about Harrold’s example—and could such policies become more commonplace?)