While hundreds of thousands rallied for gun control across the nation this weekend, more than 170 Texas school districts have already taken action to protect students from school shooters.
Long before President Donald Trump took office, Harrold ISD along the Texas-Oklahoma, was the first to arm teachers, administrators and other staff who remain anonymous until called to action.
Keene ISD Superintendent Ricky Stephens says his district adopted what's known as the “Guardian Plan” in 2016.
“We had some we chose who said they didn't feel comfortable doing it, and we absolutely don't make them do that,” he says. “They have to first pass a psychological pass, and at our school district when you first become a Guardian you have get 80 hours of training that first year.”
Stephens says only a select few administrators which staff members serve as Guardians. He says the weapons are concealed at all times.
“Our kids know we have people carrying in the building, we have signs all over the property, they know that,” he says. “It does give them a sense of security knowing they have people that care for them and are willing to put their life on the line for them.”
Fayetteville ISD Superintendent Jeff Harvey says his district armed staff members just after the Parkland shooting, but it had already been in the works for months.
Though President Trump and some members in Congress have offered it as a solution to school shootings, Harvey says it may not be for everyone.
“The feds can make the decision they're going to allow and put dollars toward it, but it doesn't mean you have to do it locally,” says Harvey.
“I don't expect the best interest of Fayetteville ISD to be in the best interest of Katy ISD or Houston ISD, they have different programs to keep their students safe.”
Harvey points out that Houston, Katy, Cy-Fair and other larger districts already have their own police forces, so arming teachers may not be necessary.