SEMINOLE, TX (KCBD) - Seminole ISD's Guardian School program provides training and allows qualifying teachers to concealed carry on school grounds.
Signs outside of each SISD school read in part, "Please be aware that Seminole ISD is a guardian school. Staff are armed and will use whatever force is necessary to protect our students and employees."
SISD Superintendent Gary Laramore spoke with KCBD about these signs:
"It's a visual deterrent," Laramore said. "There's research that shows that a lot of school shooters have actually driven by schools with signs and chosen a softer target. So we wanted to make sure that everyone was well informed that Seminole ISD premises are just like anywhere else you would go in Seminole: that people that have gone through the proper procedures to carry a handgun are allowed to carry."
But for teachers and administrators to carry on campus is not as easy as simply getting a concealed carry license. They have to first meet the State of Texas standards, go through multiple training academies, receive training from officers, and then must be approved by the SISD Board of Trustees.
But how do parents with kids in SISD schools feel about the Guardian Program?
"Very thankful that we're willing to do that for our kids and for our students because they're the most important thing and their security is the number one concern for us," Laramore said. "(We've) had nothing but positive. There's been maybe one or two things on social media that were negative and there was an overwhelming response the other way."
Emily Birdwell, the Public Information Officer for SISD, said she believes this is a reflection of the Seminole community.
"I think that says a lot about the staff that we have here at Seminole ISD that we have so many individuals who did what was necessary to be able to carry here on campus. The fact that they're willing to step up and protect our kids says a lot about our community and what our community is full of: individuals who will do whatever it takes to protect everybody inside those walls."