A Texas school district isn’t waiting around for lawmakers to make up their minds on whether arming teachers is a good idea–they’ve already decided that it is.
Callisburg Independent School District in Callisburg, Texas, began their “guardian” program a few years ago, which allows teachers to volunteer to carry concealed firearms on school grounds. Superintendent Steve Clugston explained to CNN, “We’ll do whatever’s necessary to protect our kids and staff. We don’t want to be at the mercy of somebody that’s intent on doing harm.”
Outside of the school doors, Callisburg has a sign that reads, “Please be aware that certain staff members at Callisburg are armed, and may use whatever force necessary to protect our students.”
While there’s been plenty of criticism about the notion of arming teachers, some students at Callisburg say that their school’s initiative makes them feel safer. One student told CNN, “I feel really safe, knowing that, I can come to school and if there’s an incident that does happen that they’ll be able to protect us.”
President Trump has been one of the leading voices in the push to arm teachers and has expressed support for the measure on multiple occasions since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 students dead. On Thursday, Trump suggested giving teachers who are willing to carry firearms a bonus. He explained, “I don’t want teachers to have guns, I want certain highly adept people, people that understand weaponry, guns — if they really have that aptitude.” And, on Friday, during his CPAC speech, Trump told the crowd, “When we declare our schools to be gun free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger.”
The president’s push to arm teachers echoed the talking points of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. During his CPAC speech, LaPierre said, “I want my schools protected just like I want my banks protected.”
While arming teachers is the latest bullet point in the NRA’s playbook, not all of their politicians are on board. On Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott broke with the organization by saying that he does not support arming teachers, and during a CNN Town Hall on Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that he doesn’t support the measure.