The Levelland ISD school board has approved a plan that will allow teachers to carry concealed firearms on campus.
No word yet on when the policy will go into affect, or how many teachers will be authorized.
"We started in January of 2013 after the Sandy Hook tragedy," said Levelland ISD Superintendent Kelly Baggett. "I put together a committee. From the committee, they took it to the board and gave the recommendation to hire two new resource officers and pursue a concealed handgun policy."
The proposal is associated with Senate Bill 1857, which was passed during this session. It allows school districts to work with CHL instructors so teachers can carry guns on campus.
"I just feel like 1857 is the best fit for our school district and I think probably other districts in region 17 are looking at the same type of requirements that we are," he said. "That allows us to work with handgun instructors, primarily those through South Plains Community College, to help us with our training needs."
Superintendent Baggett says he will hand-pick the teachers that will carry firearms and they will go through a six step process:
1) Get a CHL if they don't already have it
2) Psychological evaluation
3) Basic pistol course
4) Protection inside home
5) Protection outside home
6) South Plains College training component called Active Shooter Simulation
Baggett doesn't have an exact timetable for when this will go into effect or exactly how many teachers will carry.
"I would envision that we are up and running no later than the start of the second semester, but it could happen as early as next week because we've been working on this. I really don't know how many yet. I don't know who yet, but with the addition of two new resource officers that's going to allow us to spread our officers out between campuses."
Baggett says Levelland considered adding an extra police officer for each campus, something he said he preferred, but he is confident the district is making the best decision for the students.
"I'm starting my 43rd year in education. I never dreamed that we'd be allowing professional educators to carry weapons on campus. I just have to have faith that we're doing the right thing and we're going to know how to handle it if it ever happens."
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