It’s Granbury ISD students first day of college. Students are feeling the heat but it is from staff packing it.
Signs posted around Granbury ISD schools let people know that members of the staff may be armed.
Southwest of Fort Worth, Granbury joins an increasing list of Texas school districts enabling employees to carry.
Some parents knew about the college year shift. Others just learned about it and expressed some worries, but still say that they support the policy if it keeps students safe.
First day classroom jitters is not just for the students. Parents are anxious about sending their children back to school for a number of reasons, including school safety following multiple mass shootings.
“We kind of want to set the tone that our school districts are not soft targets,” said Granbury ISD Superintendent Jeremy Glenn.
Granbury ISD joins approximately a third of Texas school districts that choose to arm some educators and employees, including Argyle and Keen ISD.
Since 2014, Argyle ISD has had armed personnel and professors on all three campuses. It hosted one of North Texas ‘ biggest active shooter simulations in 2016.
New signs outside the 10 campuses of Granbury ISD warn visitors that staff members “may be armed and will use whatever force necessary to protect our students and staff.”
“We’ve had people on both sides of the fence,” Glenn said. “But at the end of the day, I think our trustees made a local decision to do whatever we could to make sure our students and staff are protected.”
The policy was accepted unanimously by Granbury ISD trustees following the shooting of Santa Fe in May 2018. But the superintend says it took a year to strategically implement a marshal program and hire a director of safety and security. He points out that not every trained marshal can carry a weapon on their person.
“It’s against Texas education code 37.0811 for teachers to actually interact with students and carry at the same time,” Glenn said. “So for the most part, you see firearms locked away.”
That and the 80 hours of training provide a greater level of comfort for parents to introduce guns to the classroom.
“As long as they are put in a safe spot where kids can’t get to them,” said parent Ashley Antley.
“I’m a law enforcement officer, so I actually like the proactivity of it,” said parent Josh Lane. “We can’t be there always at the time things are going on. So as long as they are properly trained, I’m perfectly fine with that.”