Hunt ISD teachers return to school with option to carry firearms

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by Marvin Hurst / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 6:56 PM

HUNT, Texas -- Hunt is a small Texas town where the first day of school will appear just like business as usual. However, for the first time, the teachers and staff have the option of carrying firearms on campus.

The school board for the Hunt Independent School District voted in May to allow their employees to arm themselves at school.

"I don't believe the students will notice any difference," said HISD School Board President Laurie Lowe.

The option to carry a concealed handgun to school is a part of a multi-layered security plan. The newly adopted policy is public record is public record but the carrier of the weapon is confidential.

Superintendent Crystal Dockery would not divulge how many employees have chosen to use the firearm option. She would not confirm if there would be guns on campus on the first day of school. Nor would Dockery indicate if she would carry a firearm at the small Kerr County school where her office is housed for security reasons.

Dockery did acknowledge several concealed handgun licenses on campus.

"We actually have several staff members that were already concealed handgun certified," says Dockery. "We have others who are training right now."

Joe Vorhes lives across the street from the Hunt School. Dockery's office, 200 students, and employees work within a stone's throw from his home.

"It's not a directive that we're going to train all of our teachers to become an expert marksman," he said.

Vorhes says in rural areas guns are viewed as tools not as weapons. Nevertheless, after living in the quiet town for more than three decades, he realizes the school isn't immune to crime.

"I keep an eye on that school as of it's a part of my property too," says Vorhes. "Things that are going on over there that shouldn't be going on---are, basically, a threat to me."

Lowe says opposition to the board decision to arm their employee has been minimal.

"I personally regret that our culture has reached this point where this board has to take these kinds of steps," says Lowe.

According to the Texas Association of School Boards, there are 65 school districts in Texas that have policies which include firearm langauge for their employees. The Texas Education Agency has recorded just 14 districts. School systems are not required to report their firearm policy to these agencies.

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