VAN, TX (KLTV) - The Van Independent School District school board has authorized "certain school employees and other persons" to carry authorized firearms on school property.
Officials at Van ISD say not everyone will be carrying a concealed handgun, but those who do will be going through some very rigorous training including active shooter training. And they'll be working very closely with law enforcement.
"We are going to go above and beyond on all out training," stated Van Superintendent Don Dunn. "We're going to start training immediately. It will be every employee who is approved to carry."
"From the moment an intruder enters one of our buildings until we can notify the police and have the police arrive at the scene is approximately a five minute window," said Dunn. "During this time our teachers and our kids are completely defenseless. Now then with this policy we feel like we are able to protect our kids and our staff during this critical time period."
Dunn added that there will be armed employees at all Van campuses, but they're keeping a tight lid on exactly who has the guns.
"I think at this point by passing this measure and putting these measures in place that we can say that we are doing everything we possibly can to keep our kids and our staff safe," said Dunn.
Van is now the third school district in Texas to allow guns on campus. Last week, Union Grove ISD in East Texas approved a similar measure to allow selected school personnel to carry guns on campus. Harrold ISD, a small district north of Wichita Falls, is the other district.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has publicly supported the idea of arming teachers in schools, saying that districts should make their own policies on the issue.