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SAPD chief weighs in on school safety following Florida shooting

Chief says he would work with local districts should they decide to arm teachers

Whether it's arming teachers, placing more armed security officers on school campuses or metal detectors -- many including San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus agree, change needs to happen in order to prevent school shootings.

"There absolutely has to be a conversation about how to possibly prevent these," McManus said.

Politicians, students and activists alike have pushed for changes after a Florida high school shooting claimed the life of 17 people last month. President Donald Trump has even called for the arming of teachers. 

The Texas Association of School Boards said more than 150 school districts throughout Texas allow staff to carry guns. Harrold Independent School District, which sits just outside of Wichita Falls, is among the 150.

"You need to meet a force with an appropriate force, and you need to protect our children," David Thweatt, Harrold ISD superintendent, said.

McManus said he would work with districts locally, should they decide to ever arm teachers, but, he said arming educators isn't the only solution.

"Intelligence is the only way that you're going to be able to prevent that from happening," McManus said. "The security at the school needs to be flawless. It needs to be fail-safe and I'm not quite sure how you get to that point where you got a fail-safe security system at a school because you have too many people coming and going."

Not everyone supports the arming of educators. The president of the Texas State Teacher's Association said teachers should teach and police officers should handle security.


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