SAN ANTONIO – An East Central Independent School District board meeting ran late into the night Tuesday as school board members went back and forth on the issue of arming some teachers and staff with guns.
After lengthy discussions and input from parents, the issue was tabled for further discussion.
The district discussed employing a guardian or marshall program that would allow certain district staffers to go through training to carry firearms on campus at all times.
Here's what members of the community had to say:
“We go through fire drills all the time,” said Josh Felker, a proponent for arming teachers. He added that all schools have fire extinguishers to protect from fires and and that some faculty and staff should have guns to protect students from shooters.
“There's people carrying guns every day that are armed civilians that are there to stop the bad guys,” Felker said. “You cannot stop evil you can only protect others from it.”
Other parents said more guns are not the answer.
“Accidents happen. It's a number game,” East Central ISD parent Keith Keilman said. “The more guns you add to the situation, the ratio goes up for accidents.”
Parents and community members said that this is the first they're hearing of the idea of arming teachers and faculty. The school board is tabling the issue until the board's January meeting for further discussion and said that they will engage the community on the topic over.
“For the next month, we'll interact more broadly with the community, communicate additional information about what we've learned thus far and hopefully make a good decision next month,” said Roland Toscano, East Central ISD Superintendent.
Toscano saying they began researching guardian type programs after the Sutherland Springs shooting, having their first meeting about the possibility in February.
The board formed a committee comprised of 20 community members to research the different types of programs.
The district hopes to reach a decision on the matter by its January meeting.