Lubbock ISD considers options for arming teachers

Lubbock ISD considers options for arming teachers

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

 

The idea was presented at a board meeting Thursday morning. 

Stacy Carter, the director of school security and safety for Lubbock ISD, said the board is looking at the best course of action to protect students and staff.

"This is a conversation that's going to happen over the course of several months," Carter said. "We're looking at coming forward with more information and several incidents that have happened, and just really examining it holistically to make sure we're making the best decisions possible for our students."

There are two options for the board. The School Marshal Program would allow certified teachers to act as armed security officers. They would be able to engage threats with immediate force. Any gun would be kept under lock and key. It would be strictly voluntary, and staff would go through a lot of training.

"You will have additional firearms training, you'll have psychological screenings, you will have as many safeguards as we can possibly build into that program," Zach Brady,  president of the Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees, said. 

The other option is the Guardian Program. Eligible teachers would keep their guns with them at all times. more than 170 districts in Texas already use this program, far more popular than the Marshal Plan. Under the Guardian Plan, staff would only be able to use lethal force in defense of themselves or the students.

The district has already hired three new police officers, and with an extensive district police force, Brady said arming teachers would be another way to deter potential threats.

Brady said a decision will likely be made during this school year. The important thing, he said, is to not be quick or reactionary, but to get it right.

"This is just another tool that we're exploring the use of and exploring how it might be useful to our district, and it's just something we're going to take a long look at," Brady said.

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