While Wolfe City Independent School District has had a School Safety “Guardian” Program (arming teachers) in place for several years, the Board of Trustees recently approved for the district to make the program public knowledge.
“Schools across the country are being forced to prepare for the unthinkable – the potential of a mass school shooting,” said Wolfe City ISD Superintendent Anthony R. Figueroa in press release online.
“The news is full of incidents like Columbine, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Aurora, and so on. Schools, as ‘Gun Free Zones,’ have been seen as ‘free-fire zones’ by troubled individuals. They knew that they would have no one firing back at them while they completed their goal of killing innocent and helpless students and staff.”
The press release further said that the Wolfe City ISD school board has watched the devastation and considered appropriate policies.
“Three years ago, the Board updated local policy, authorizing a School Safety “Guardian” Program (TX Govt. Code 411.1901). Its purpose is to provide students and faculties an armed self-defense option prior to the arrival of Law Enforcement in the event of an active shooter or “active killer” on campus. They have the right to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds.”
The Guardians are ISD staff members who have passed each of the following requirements (and more):
1. Hand-selected staff members.
2. Must have their Concealed Handgun License (CHL) / License to Carry (LTC).
3. Must qualify annually with the specific handgun they will carry. This means qualifying on the gun
range through a process which is under the control of the sheriff’s department.
4. Must go through joint training with local law enforcement.
5. Must be on the random drug testing list and pass all tests.
6. Must be trained in tactics for denying an intruder entry into a classroom or facility.
7. Must be approved by the school board.
“The staff who make it through the training and gain final approval, are volunteers. In order to protect them from becoming targets of an intruder, their names are confidential and are not to be released. I ask that names not be guessed at nor rumors passed in an attempt to protect these individuals.”
Today, Aug 9, signs were posted on Wolfe City ISD campuses which state, “ATTENTION: WCISD STAFF ARE ARMED AND TRAINED TO PROTECT OUR STUDENTS.”
Although the program has been in place for years, the Board of Trustees approved for the district to make the program public knowledge.
“By providing the community with this information and by placing signs up across the campuses, we are taking additional steps so that people know we are NOT an “easy target”. No students, parents nor most staff will be allowed to carry. Only those who have gone through the extensive training and met all requirements will be allowed to carry. Please continue to be aware that any gun rumored to be on campus or seen on campus should be reported immediately.”
Several school districts in Lamar County also allow select staff members to conceal carry including North Lamar ISD, Prairiland ISD and Chisum ISD.
Mr. Figueroa with Wolfe City ISD said if anyone has further questions, they can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.