Students at Texas school district back policy arming teachers

HARROLD, Texas -- One of the first school districts in Texas to allow teachers to carry guns hope more schools adopt the policy following President Trump's recommendation.

Harrold Independent School District only has 114 students. Students here say they are able to receive more one-on-one help with their academics.

There is also another benefit these students described: the security.

The district has secure doors and cameras, but that's not all. Their teachers are permitted to carry weapons on campus.

"I feel safe, most definitely," student Elli Oustae said. "You feel more safe, and you can count on them."

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While President Donald Trump suggested certain teachers should carry guns last week, educators at Harrold ISD have had the policy in place for 11 years.

"I think more school districts should do it," parent Amanda Litteken said. "It makes me feel like my kids are safe."

While Harrold says it was the first, the Texas Association of School Boards says 13 percent of Texas districts arm faculty members. But 68 percent of districts don't have police or school resource officers.

That's a troubling statistic for Harrold ISD superintendent David Thweatt.

"You need to meet a force with an appropriate force, and you need to protect our children," Thweatt said.

His district's policy requires teachers to have a conceal permit, go through training, and carry the gun while at school.

Not everyone agrees with the strategy.

The Houston Federation of Teachers believes schools should hire security and do more drills, not put weapons in teachers' hands.

Thweatt won't say how many teachers are carrying guns, but that doesn't matter to students, as long as their teachers can save their lives, if necessary.
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