Peace officers should be the only district employees allowed to carry firearms in gun-free zones, Vera said, adding that the district's money is better spent on supplies and salaries rather than on firearm training and mental health screenings for teachers to carry firearms. Meanwhile, a survey of more than 1,000 state school districts conducted by the Texas School Safety Center concluded that only 280 systems were participating in an older, separate and much less regulated state “guardian” program aimed at deploying armed teachers as last guards against active shooters. This month, Ohio passed a law that reduces training requirements for teachers who want to be armed from 700 to 24 hours, opening the door for many more to carry weapons on campus. Teachers and staff had to undergo a mental health evaluation and 80 hours of training by the Texas Law Enforcement Commission to carry a gun on district campuses, Kelly said, adding that each petition to carry must also be approved by the school board.
It's still rare even in Texas, where the state allows teachers to carry firearms on campus with as little as four hours of training. In Texas, the decision to carry guns on a school campus is made by the local school board and individual employees. Six years after Texas passed a controversial measure allowing licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, a Republican state legislator is pushing to expand the law by allowing licensed adults to carry guns in public and charter schools. Opponents of arming teachers, such as the Everytown for Gun Safety group, point out that even police officers, who have much more training than school staff, often fail in their objectives when firing their guns in emergency situations.
Texas also generally prohibits firearms when conducting school-sponsored activities, unless a person is exempt. Bradie Williams, who teaches third and fourth grade social studies and sends her two children to Utopia school, doesn't carry a firearm on campus in part because she said she's too busy to do the training required to get a concealed carry permit. Policies, often referred to as “guardian plans,” are determined by districts and do not have uniform requirements, said Kathy Martinez-Prather, director of the Texas Center for School Safety. Both are licensed by the Texas Law Enforcement Commission and receive training from the Texas School Safety Center, according to TASB.
Teachers and school staff can carry a gun under a state school sheriff's program, which is overseen by the Texas Law Enforcement Commission and requires 80 hours of training. Standing 6'6, with 330 pounds, he played defensive tackle for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, and he has deep roots here. If a school district employs officers, an official can be assigned to more than one school, said Lynelle Sparks, executive director of the Texas Association of School Resource Officials. A spokesman for the Texas Education Agency declined to comment, saying the state agency “does not comment on proposed legislation.