Second ETX school district to allow select staff to carry concealed handguns

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 9:54am

Authorities with Van ISD tell KETK, they have taken the steps toward allowing select staff members to carry concealed handguns on campus in order to protect the students.

The district's schools, like all schools, maintains a network of security procedures, and because of recent school shootings across the country, the Van ISD school board decided to review and update the district's emergency plan.

The board consulted with their attorney and local law enforcement, they authorized specific employees to carry certain firearms on the school's property, at school events, and at board meetings.

"There is no plan that guarantees 100% safety of all students and staff in every situation," Van ISD Superintendent Don Dunn said in a released statement.

But by approving the policy, Dunn says "the board addressed concerns about effective and timely response to emergency situations at schools".

He says say the change allows the district to better handle a variety of situations such as invasion of the schools by an armed person, hostage situations, students who are armed and posing a direct threat of posing a direct threat of physical harm to themselves or others, and similar circumstances.

"Rest assured that we will remain vigilant," Dunn says. "Van ISD will continue to do everything we can to ensure that our children are educated in an environment that is safe, healthy, and supportive."

Van ISD now becomes the second district in East Texas to pass gun related rules.

According to the district's safety program, "only authorized school employees who have obtained and maintain a current license, in accordance with state law, to carry a concealed handgun are eligible to be authorized to possess a firearm on school property."

The district will only allow reduced ricochet hazard ammunition, or frangible ammunition, on school property.

Union Grove ISD passed a similar measure earlier this year.

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