Armed teachers could one day become the norm in Central Texas schools.
State law currently allows teachers to carry concealed handguns, as long as they are licensed and allowed by their districts.
The Texas Government Code includes a provision that allows firearm instructors, who participate in a training course, to teach educators how to use concealed weapons to protect their students. On Friday, the Texas Department of Public Safety wrapped up its first-ever training course. Among the twelve participants was local firearm instructor Bruce Kaase.
On Monday, Kaase contacted all school districts in Region 12, offering his services to districts that wanted armed teachers. By Tuesday night, two districts -- Moody ISD and Jonesboro ISD -- had already expressed interest in meeting with Kaase. Troy ISD declined Kaase's offer.
Gun experts expect concealed carry policies would perform better in rural school districts that don't have school resource officers and are not located near law enforcement offices. Districts like Temple ISD already employ school resource officers through contracts with local police. On Tuesday, a spokesman for Temple ISD confirmed the district would make no effort to arm teachers.
Under state regulations, Kaase can only train six teachers at a time. With the help of a second instructor, he will be able to educate a maximum of twelve at once.
"It's protection of the staff and of the schools," Kaase said. "If the superintendent is adamant about safety at his school and wants students and staff protected, this is a way to do it."
Teachers who enroll in the program are required to score 90 percent or above on both a written test and a shooting qualifier exam. They will be taught skills ranging from how to avoid a shooting altogether to denying an active shooter entry into a classroom to how to defend students, as a last resort. Teachers will also be taught how to work with law enforcement to ensure safe outcomes.
Bruce Kaase runs the Kaase Concealed Handgun School in Gatesville. If you are interested in training, you can contact him at email@example.com or call 254-230-6953.
A handful of districts statewide already have armed teachers in classrooms.