Parents react to ETX teachers carrying guns on campus - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Parents react to ETX teachers carrying guns on campus


Parents are speaking out about a plan in two East Texas school districts to arm teachers.

Van and Union Grove ISD have decided to allow authorized faculty and staff members to have access to firearms on campus. 

Union Grove said their district does not have school resource officers, just one of the many factors that influenced their decision. 

"If somebody came into our school district meaning to do harm to our kids. The question I ask is 'Would you want that stopped or someone to intervene as quickly as possible?' If the answer to that question is yes, then we need to have this discussion," said Brian Gray, Union Grove ISD's Superintendent. 

It is a discussion he said the district had with parents prior to making the decision to allow certain personnel access to firearms on campus.

"We had 52 parents show up and overwhelmingly, to a person, they supported the thought of protecting our kids," Gray said. 

Van ISD said they, too, have received support.

"Everything has been extremely positive. I have not received one negative phone call," said Don Dunn, Superintendent for Van ISD. 

For those parents who are not comfortable with the decision, there are not a whole lot of options.

"Not other than moving to another district. The bottom line is we are going to protect those who are here," Dunn said. 

Both districts said the faculty and staff members who will have access to firearms will receive rigorous training from local authorities, specifically hostage intervention and crisis management. 

The districts said those employees who receive authorization will remain confidential. 

"These people are agreeing to put their lives on the line for our kids. The least we could do is to outfit them with the best equipment and to train them properly," Dunn said.

One district who said they have no plans to allow faculty and staff to carry guns on campus is Longview ISD. They said only school resource officers and security will be allowed to carry firearms on school property. 

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