They're not angels, but folks in Brock might call them the next best thing as they watch over their children.
The Brock School Board recently approved a Guardian Program in which select employees from the district are allowed to conceal carry in preparation for an emergency.
"We are currently starting our process to determine which employees will be participating in the Guardian Program," Superintendent Scott Drillette said. "We’ve had a significant amount of interest, and I feel confident that we will have very qualified Guardians to help protect our schools."
Drillette said employees will initially be allowed to volunteer for the program. However, the employees ultimately selected to serve as Guardians will have to be deemed fit for duty based on a physical exam, an extensive psychological evaluation and a rigorous district-designated training program.
Peaster has had a similar program in place for a year, Superintendent Matt Adams said.
"We do have a policy that allows certain staff to conceal carry in the case of an emergency," Adams said. "We have not had any incidents."
"The members are approved by the board of trustees and must go through a training process before being accepted. I believe the program is a great deterrent, and that is our ultimate goal."
Drillette said officials in Brock have visited with Adams and the folks in Peaster about the program.
"Our programs will be largely identical. There will be some minor differences here and there, but for the most part, they will be very similar," Drillette said.
Drillette said the reason for the program is simple. With Brock and Peaster being rural districts with no campus police force of their own, there exists the possibility of a substantial wait before help arrives from law enforcement.
"I’m not sure how many rural school districts in Texas are implementing authorized concealed carry plans, but I know of several schools that have gone to it and I hear frequently about more schools starting their own programs," he said.
"I think the main thing that prompted our interest in bringing the Guardian Program to Brock ISD was our school board’s intention to provide the safest environment possible for our students and staff. We obviously hope and pray that nothing would ever happen of that nature here, but we want to be prepared in the unlikely event it does occur."
The vote of the board was a unanimous 7-0. Drillette said they are "very unified" on the measure.
Drillete thanked the board for the decision and said in no way will the Program be taken lightly. He assured citizens the participant selection process and training program will be of the highest quality.
"Our board was very thoughtful and deliberate in making the decision to bring the Guardian Program to Brock ISD. We realize that it’s a big step," he said. "I hope that everybody in our district and community realizes our commitment to safety and feels a little safer knowing that we have trained and prepared Guardians on every campus."