After an article in the E-T about school safety, Stephenville ISD Superintendent Matt Underwood introduced campus carry plans to the board of trustees Monday, asking them to examine the guardian and marshal plans.
“There are about 178 districts in the state of Texas that implemented one of these,” Underwood said. “It’s a very difficult topic, I understand, and we need some time to digest it.”
There have been two recent threats at schools in Erath County. A hoax bomb was discovered at Dublin High School inside a backpack, then one day later, a Stephenville student allegedly made threats against a teacher, saying she wanted to “shoot up” the high school.
The guardian and marshal plans allow educators and administrators to protect students with guns.
“Jason King (Stephenville police chief) said he would be happy to come visit with us at the next meeting,” Underwood told the board.
The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) details information about the two plans — implementation requirements, liability and parental rights.
“A district’s decisions with respect to student safety should reflect the desires of the community, including parental input. Districts may want to conduct public hearings to elicit thoughts of parents,” the TASB website states. “School districts facing opposition from even a minority of parents should consider the costs, in terms of legal fees, employee time, and public good will, of defending a policy to expand employee access to firearms over parental objection.”
In order to implement a plan there would be required training, background checks and mental and physical evaluations.
Underwood said the district would look into liability.
“Although a school district has no legal liability for failing to protect students against the violent acts of a third-party school shooter, a school district that adopts a policy or practice that introduces risk into the school environment may increase its exposure to federal liability,” states the TASB website.
Underwood asked the board to start reading about the two plans, but there was no action or further discussion on the topic.
More details on these plans and the requirements can be found by visiting www.tasb.org.