Training underway for local school administrators to carry guns - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Training underway for local school administrators to carry guns on campus

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BONHAM & SADLER, TX -- As students enjoy the start of summer vacation, local administrators are hard at work preparing for a new security system.

Two local school districts are taking matters in to their own hands when it comes to school safety.  One of them is already training select staff members to carry firearms on campus. 

"I never thought that someday soon I’d be getting up and checking my weapon, putting it on my body somewhere and bringing it to work,” said Dr. Marvin Beaty, Bonham ISD Superintendent.

Bonham ISD plans to welcome guns on campus for a selected group of employees as part of the 'Defender Program'. They aren't alone.

"Look at the history of school shootings and look at how long it takes for armed personnel to respond,” said Roger Reed, Sadler High School Principal, “and were just not comfortable with that. We didn't feel like that was the best situation for our students and our faculty members." 

Sadler ISD Administrators say the area does not have a local police presence and in an emergency relies on the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office. Last week Bonham ISD staff started the required intense firearm training instructed by Commissioned Texas Peace Officers.

"I shot close to 400 rounds in two days," said Beaty.

Beaty says no minute in the 24 hour training, spread over three eight hour days, was wasted by instructors.

If you did not qualify, you don't get to stay in the program," he said.

Employees will not carry loaded guns on campus so trainers use simulated weapons where the clip is separate and teachers have to load a round in the chamber within a matter of seconds.

"In the scenarios we went through once you realize there was a threat,” said Beaty, “and you constantly had to determine is that a threat. It was not always a threat. So you had to stop and discern what you were doing but you pull a clip and the weapon."

Every staff member - in both districts - will have a safe installed in their classroom or desk. All holding a mace gun, but it will be a secret which ones hold a real gun. 

"I know on every campus who they are,” said Beaty, “and the principal of the campus will know who they are on that campus. But nobody else knows who they are."

Bonham and Sadler teachers will train next month and hope to implement the ‘Defender Program’ by the start of the next school year.