Obviously "gun free" schools are not working. Is it time to set up programs for schools to arm teachers who volunteer for a program such as this one in Texas?
Thweatt is the architect of ?The Guardian Plan,? a blueprint for arming school staff, including teachers, that may be catching on, at least in the Lone Star state. Teachers there are allowed to have weapons in the classroom, as Thweatt's faculty members do, but State Attorney General Greg Abbott suggested Monday that lawmakers may consider ways to encourage the practice statewide.
"Bearing arms whether by teachers and guards and things like that will be all a part of more comprehensive policy issues for the legislature to take up in the coming weeks," Abbott said. "And you can be assured in the aftermath of what happened in Connecticut that these legislators care dearly about the lives of students at their schools and they will evaluate all possible measures that are necessary to protect those lives," he said.
More momentum for the idea is evidenced by Austin gun shop dealer Crocket Keller, who announced his store will now extend the same discount on firearm purchases to teachers as it does to veterans.
Thweatt said there have been no incidents since October 2007, when his district adopted the plan giving an unspecified number of teachers and school staff -- dubbed "Guardians" -- authority to carry concealed weapons on school premises. Participating staff are anonymous and known only to Thweatt and the school board, which must approve each application for an employee to become a Guardian. They receive a small stipend annually.
?We?re 18 miles and 30 minutes from the nearest police station," Thweatt said. "So we are our first responders. If something happened here, we would have to protect our children. You know, police officers are true, everyday heroes in my book, but one of them once told me something very revealing. He said, ?Ninety-five percent of the time, we get to the scene late.? I can?t afford to let that happen.?
Each Guardian must obtain a Texas conceal-and-carry permit, and must lock-and-load their weapons with ?frangible? bullets that break apart when colliding with a target. ?They go through people,? assured Thweatt.
?They?re very similar to what the air marshals use. The bullets are glued together with polymers, and we insist upon them because we don?t want the bullet to ricochet off a wall after it?s fired and hit a child.?