BIG SPRING, TX (KWES) - Just days after the Big Spring Independent School District school board approved a program that will allow qualified staff to carry concealed firearms, District Superintendent Jay McWilliams shared his vision for the safety measure.
The "Guardian Plan" was approved with a unanimous vote at the district's school board meeting held on May 10.
The ordinance will allow staff members to volunteer to qualify under a rigorous set of safety requirements which include:
- Must have their LTC (License to Carry)
- Must pass a psychological exam like local law enforcement
- Must complete ALERT training (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training)
- Must qualify annually at a gun range with the specific handgun they will carry
- Must participate in joint training with local law enforcement
- Must pass district's random drug testing requirements
- Must train in tactics for denying an intruder entry into a classroom or facility
As part of the "Guardian Plan," there will also be warning signs posted at all nine of the district's campuses.
The signs will read "Attention: Please be aware that the staff of Big Spring I.S.D. may be armed and will use whatever force is necessary to protect our students."
With these precautions in place, McWilliams said he believes the "Guardian Plan" will serve as more of a preventive measure rather than a combative one.
"We're wanting people to know, if you're coming to Big Spring with the intent of doing harm like we've seen across the country, that there is gonna be somebody there as a deterrent," McWilliams said.
Though, if someone does pursue violent action inside school grounds, McWilliams is confident his staff will be ready.
"If you do have to encounter this person, the training will teach you how to encounter because, if you're carrying a weapon and you encounter, the idea is you'll know how to use it," McWilliams said.
All concealed carries on school grounds will be limited to .380 and 9mm caliber handguns.
McWilliams also said that the identity of qualifying guardians will remain anonymous to parents and students, and only shared with law enforcement and school district officials.