Van ISD latest to allow staff to carry firearms

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by TODD UNGER

WFAA

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 12:24 AM

VAN, Texas -- Van Independent School District green-lighted a concealed carry proposal this week, saying it will help protect the district's 2,000-plus students.

"The sad reality is, [a shooting] could happen here," said VISD Superintendent Don Dunn.

The district already locks school doors. But most of the parents said Thursday that wasn't enough anymore.

"This makes it better," said parent Kassy Gandy.

The district said it is outlining strict guidelines, including mandatory hostage and crisis training with local police for any staff member that wants to carry.

Police will be coming in to familiarize themselves with teachers that carry, and staff will continue to visibly wear ID badges. In the event of a shooting, the district said those steps will help avoid confusion for responding police officers.

Potential confusion over who is a teacher with a gun, as opposed to an intruder with a gun, was one of the points raised at a Cleburne ISD meeting earlier this week. No decision has been made on allowing guns in the classroom there.

But in Van, the district is confident its plan will work.

Dunn wouldn't say how many of the 350 staff are interested, only saying "there is a list." Ultimately, it will be at the administration's discretion to decide which interested personnel can carry.

Some staff members could be packing heat by the end of the school year.

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