Former Haltom City mayor thinks teachers should be armed

Posted Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Former Haltom City Mayor Jack Lewis, a member of the Birdville school district's bond committee, which is considering campus security improvements, wants licensed teachers to be allowed to carry their concealed weapons to work.

Lewis said that he has "complete confidence" in the ability of teachers to handle the situation if a gunman entered the classroom.

Noting that he spoke for himself and not for the bond committee, Lewis said that while the proposed bond package will likely include safety and security upgrades, the district is "going about it in the wrong way."

"Our police departments already have their hands full," Lewis said. "I don't see spending thousands on arming police officers when teachers are already in the classroom. ... I asked the board to publicly approve allowing our teachers to voluntarily carry in the workplace if they have a concealed handgun license."

Lewis initially spoke at a Jan. 26 school board meeting. He repeated them in an interview Thursday.

District spokesman Mark Thomas said it is against district policy to allow weapons at school.

"This is not under immediate consideration," Thomas said.

School board President Ralph Kunkel said that allowing teachers to have concealed weapons is a hot issue but that he doesn't think the board will discuss the issue soon. Kunkel said he is not a gun owner and would have to learn about the requirements for having a concealed handgun license.

"Whatever we wind up doing, we don't want prisons or fortresses on our campuses. We want our kids to feel safe," he said.

Trustees have until the end of February to decide whether to call a bond election in May.

Discussions about allowing teachers to carry guns on campus have taken place at several North Texas districts including Arlington and Cleburne. None have approved such a policy.

The Legislature is looking at several options including state-funded training for teachers who have a concealed handgun license and allowing concealed handgun licensees to carry at colleges.

Elizabeth Campbell,

817-390-7696

Twitter: @fwstliz

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