Grand Saline ISD announced final implementation of its Guardian Plan on Friday, KLTV reported, approving the policy with the aim of protecting students.
According to superintendent Micah Lewis, the decision was popular among the community.
“Ninety-five percent of people here support this,” Lewis told The New York Post. “The only people who have not supported it are outsiders.”
The district’s “Guardian Plan” had been in the works for two years before implementation.
Though it may come as a surprise to some, Grand Saline ISD is not breaking new ground. Texas law grants broad authority to school boards, and communities around the state have allowed teachers to carry weapons for years.
In fact, by the time former president Donald Trump suggested arming teachers in 2018, hundreds of Texas school boards were already allowing staff to carry guns, from Argyle ISD in the north to Fort Davis ISD in the west. Harrold ISD led the way in 2008 and is believed to be the first school district in the nation to allow teachers to carry guns.
The plan that Grand Saline ISD approved lets certain teachers carry guns as school marshals, a position that the legislature authorized in 2013 with a bipartisan bill.
Formerly, schools could have no more than one school marshal per building. In 2019, the legislature passed a bill to remove this cap, effectively letting schools appoint unlimited school marshals.
Just last year, the legislature amended the law further to let school marshals carry handguns on their person even during regular, direct contact with students.
Any school employee can apply for the position. But although the Texas legislature decided just last year to end its concealed carry license requirement, school employees that want to serve as school marshals still have to undergo training. According to state law, trainees have to undergo 80 hours of instruction on school shooting prevention, the use of deadly force, and handgun proficiency. School marshals must have a license to carry a handgun.
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.