By Rachel Hawkins, NDG Staff Writer
Many concerned teachers, administrative, and parents voiced their concerns regarding having teachers ‘locked and loaded’ with firearms at the April 26 Dallas ISD board meeting. The speakers shared how nervous they feel about students being in what they consider, “unsafe zones.”
Joanna Cattanach, a mother and candidate for state Representative for HD108 spoke before the board members regarding her concerns.
“My kindergartner now has to undergo active shooter drills and hid in the closet at his school at Robert E. Lee Elementary because of DISD policy. I can’t tell you how sick I feel knowing how unsecure a classroom really is.
“I wish that he could’ve had a safe public school experience like I did,” Cattanach said. “I can’t tell you how frustrated it is to know that most of our school’s doors are not even bulletproof. I can’t tell you how many times I heard teachers tell me about the faults they have in classrooms from phones that don’t work, to school doors that have large vents in them that can literally be kicked in.”
The state of Texas already allows teachers who complete training to become school marshals.
Representative Jason Villalba, R-Dallas in an earlier statement said, “It’s understandable that parents would be nervous about having guns on campus, That’s why we created this to be tailored and narrow, and that the educators will also be highly trained peace officers.”
Many people, especially teachers, do not like the idea of carrying guns to classes. They believe teachers are only there to do their job – teach their students.
So far the exact number of educators allowed to bring guns into their classrooms is undisclosed. Texas lawmakers decided to keep the information confidential for safety reasons.
According to Rep. Villalba, around 100 people, primarily in smaller communities, have completed the training.
President Donald Trump set off a national debate on arming teachers after the shooting in Florida at Parkland when a former student killed 17 students and teachers. Trump suggested one way to prevent these shooting is allowing 20 percent of the teachers to bear arms.