San Antonio-area district latest to consider arming school staffers with guns

Posted at 10:19 AM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 11:19:09-05

The East Central Independent School District in San Antonio is strongly considering becoming the next district in the state to implement the state’s “Guardian Plan” allowing school boards to authorize certain staffers to carry firearms in the school.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the East Central Board has heard and discussed a plan from about 20 district community leaders who have researched the plan. It not only allows for firearm carry, but also sets training standards for them.

The district is located in the east central part of Bexar County, including parts of San Antonio and China Grove.

Trustees asked East Central Superintendent Roland Toscano to develop answers to “frequently asked questions” about the program and to distribute the information in emails to parents, social media, the district’s website and through handouts on campus.

The board plans to discuss the issue again in January.

The Express-News reports 170 school districts statewide have a local version of the Guardian {lan, according to the Texas Association of School Boards. It is the more flexible of two options school districts have for arming employees, allowing school boards to determine training standards.

The other allows boards to authorize employees to be school “marshals” but requires licensing by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement after a minimum amount of training.

Among the local district that have a version include Agua Dulce, which posts signs saying that employees there “may be armed.”

The state’s 2013 approval of the Protection of Texas Children Act provided districts the option to arm and train one school employee or a so-called “school marshal” for every 400 students in the school. But before that plan was in place, the Harrold Independent School District northwest of Wichita Falls started the Guardian Plan, which permits select staff and teachers to carry concealed weapons.

Texas school districts can choose between the two plans, either the Guardian or the School Marshal Plan, to authorize school employees to carry a firearm on school property.

An 80-hour training course is offered by The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement for school districts and charter schools. The training includes improving security on a campus, use of force, physical security, active shooter response and weapon proficiency.