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Big Spring ISD allows trained staff to carry firearms on campuses

The Guardian Program allows staff within the district to carry if they pass certain requirements.

BIG SPRING, Texas — For the Big Spring Independent School District, safety is a top priority.

"It's all about being proactive, it's all about creating a safe learning environment for our kids and for our teachers, and that's our number one goal," said Jay McWilliams, the Superintendent for BSISD.

Staff at the district have an option to become a Guardian, which is someone who is trained to carry a firearm on campus.

"We don't make anyone do it, it is strictly voluntary, you have to pass a psychological exam," said McWilliams. "You have to be trained on the range to prove that you can handle a weapon. You have to have, obviously, your LTC, license to carry. You have to go through what is called alert training, which is basically high intensity active shooter training." 

On top of that, the school has a secure system where all doors are locked but one main entrance.

"We now have, across all of our district, we're all pretty much keyless access," said McWilliams. "You cannot get into any of our buildings unless you have a key fob or a code. There's only one way in to get into those buildings, we have a brand new alarm system that also comes with an alarm response team."

There are also hundreds of high definition cameras all over the schools that can catch the small details and identify people easily.

"We have approximately 500 cameras," said McWilliams. "I can go to any campus, I can go to any external camera, whether it be at the maintenance barn, whether it be at our ATC, which is our athletic training center. I can zoom in, I can see anything on this campus anytime I want."

Staff is also encouraged to close and lock their doors when students are in class as an extra precaution.

"Your doors are closed, your doors are locked, I'm talking about in the classroom," said McWilliams. "Why? If somebody does somehow get in, I don't want them to be able to come into your classroom."

The point of all these measures is to stop anyone that has the intent to harm people.

"God forbid anything ever happen here," said McWilliams. "We don't want it to happen here, but we also want to take the proactive approach that we're going to be prepared. We're going to make it very very difficult for somebody to come into our building before they're being stopped."

Guardians also don't have to just be teachers, they can be anyone that is a staff member at BSISD.

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