WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KFDX) — Both Harrold and Holliday Independent School Districts have been allowing members of their staffs to conceal carry handguns for years, with Harrold being one of the first in the nation to do so.
Leaders in both districts say the majority of the feedback they’ve gotten has been positive.
Faculty members are selected by the school board and trained beyond just receiving a License to Carry a Handgun. Those teacher’s names and the number of guns is not released so it would be harder for a possible intruder to plan for what they will face.
“They keep it on them at all times,” said Harrold Superintendent David Thweatt. “Folks who come in, if they are coming in to do something like just happened, then they don’t know where they are going to meet resistance and that is very critical to our plan. So, it’s very simple, train the individuals and keep them here. Make sure people know that is exactly what we will do to answer an intruder.”
Parents in both Harrold and Holliday districts are, for the most part, on board with the policies.
“It was iffy as it was for the first several years. That all changed in December 2012 after Sandy Hook. Suddenly it took on a whole new meaning,” Thweatt said.
Over in Holliday, leaders say parents find comfort knowing people in the district have been properly trained, just in case.
“They have expressed that they feel better,” said Dr. Kevin Dyes, Holliday ISD Superintendent. “If there has been any response to my knowledge the vast majority has been positive.
As far as the students, most are unaware members of the faculty are even carrying guns.
“Our kids don’t know anything about it, especially the little ones,” Thweatt said. “As a matter of fact, they will talk about the media being here, ‘hey what are they here for?’ Well, we have a school who has guns. ‘What? We do?’ They are really surprised by it.”
While both of these schools see carrying as a way to help protect students and staff, they know this is just one part of a much bigger plan.
Since they first started to allow faculty members to carry concealed guns, Holliday has implemented controlled access to all campuses. Concealed carry for faculty at these schools is a safeguard in case someone manages to get through the other security measures they have in place.