Another East Texas school is considering the adoption of a concealed handgun policy for teachers and employees.
Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones says Trinity Independent School District is in the preliminary discussions to prepare a new school safety program that would include a potential policy on allowing concealed weapons on campus.
"Now, I don't think all teachers should carry a weapon, but pick out certain ones of them that you feel are qualified and pass a psychological exam and maybe do a certification process and keep it secret not knowing who those people are and keeping it concealed," Jones said.
Trinity ISD held a board meeting on February 25 with Jones and Sheriff Woody Wallace to discuss the first draft of the potential policy. Jones says he does not know the specifics of the draft because he had to leave the meeting early, but says Wallace is working on investigating polices and guidelines adopted by other school districts in Texas.
Wallace declined to comment on his investigation, but Jones says they are actively pushing for the policy to get passed.
"I think that the type of people that we have on our school board are going to be the type of people that are going to go along with it, but we just have to wait and see," Jones said.
The superintendent for Trinity ISD also declined to comment on the details of the discussion, but Jones says the added help from teachers and employees would boost the district's current safety program. The district currently relies on law enforcement for safety.
"We already have a safety plan in fact, but we want to make sure it's stronger. We just want to make sure it's better than what we had before and that's there's not any loopholes or any problems," Jones said.
Jones does not know when Wallace will be meeting with the school board again, but he says if the policy were to pass, he would like it mimic the policy Huntington ISD is about to vote on at the end of this month.
If Huntington ISD decides to pass their proposed concealed handgun policy, only a few employees would be selected to participate in the policy. Those individuals will have to have concealed handgun licenses and be able to carry firearms in the state of Texas. They will also have to undergo extensive training sessions including crisis intervention and management of hostage situations.
Jones said he can't comment on the details of the plans him and Wallace have discussed because they would like to keep it private right now, but he did say the main priority is finding a safety plan that works for law enforcement and the school district.
"We've always been able to get there and take care of the students and work together and come up with a pretty good solution for the thing. But there's never been any, we've had plans set in place, but never really had any solid contingency plans of what we are going to do when this fails? Or what are we going to do if this happens? So those are some of the plans that we are establishing now," Jones said.
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