By Catherine Elsworth

A school district in Texas is to allow teachers and staff to carry guns into the classroom in what is thought to be a national first.

The board of Harrold Independent School District, a small, rural community in north Texas, unanimously approved the plan and parents raised no objections to staff carrying concealed weapons, provided they fulfil certain requirements.

Backers say the move will help to protect against school shootings and improve overall security in an area 30-minute drive from the nearest police station. The school district has 110 pupils and one campus located near a busy highway, which school district superintendent David Thweatt said could make it a target.

While the school already had surveillance cameras and electronic door locks, Mr Thweatt said last year’s Virginia Tech massacre and the 2006 Amish school shooting in Pennsylvania convinced him of the need for further precautions.

“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves?” Mr Thweatt told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“The naysayers think (a shooting) won’t happen here. If something were to happen here, I’d much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them.”

Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, said Harrold was the first district in the US to adopt such a policy.

To carry a gun, school employees must be certified to carry a concealed handgun in Texas.

In the wake of recent school shootings in the US, calls have been made for schools to allow students and teachers to carry legally concealed weapons into classrooms.

The US Congress once barred guns from all schools but the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a national ban. State and local communities can adopt their own laws.

Comment fromĀ  the Telegraph’s article page:

Has the hand gun ban in Britain reduced the number of deaths by shooting?

No. In fact they have steadily risen ever since the ban came into force. Why? Because whilst it is relatively easy to disarm the vast majority of law abiding citizens, criminals are rather more reluctant to give up their guns. It is apparently as easy to buy a gun in some parts of the country as it is to buy a loaf of bread.

So there are two choices. We can, continue with this ludicrous prohibition on firearms, accepting the fact that criminals will always be armed and ready to use them, and continue to see a steady increase in innocent people being killed. Alternatively we could recognise that we will never disarm all of the criminals, all of the time, and that responsible and free citizens have the right to defend themselves and therefore able to own and carry a gun. I think you will find that violent crime and events such as Dunblane will diminish. I suggest there would be a few more of those children around today.

It would be lovely to live in a world without violence and guns, but we don’t. Criminals will always have ’em, and preventing good people from effectively defending themselves is nothing short of a crime, not to mention a gross infringement of my liberties.

Henry Burton

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