Texas Town Allows Teachers to Carry Concealed Guns

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Lawmakers in at least five states say they will consider laws to allow teachers and administrators to carry firearms at school.

Supporters say it's a good way to protect children. But critics fear gun-carrying teachers could do more harm than good.

In tiny Wichita Falls, Texas, the Harrold Independent School District allows teachers with concealed handgun licenses to carry guns in the classroom.

The policy dates back to 2007. Harrold ISD Superintendent David Thweatt said he believes it has and will prevent a school shooting.

"My goal is that if someone comes in and tries to hurt my little ones that they are killed," Thweatt said.

One student said, "I like it because it kind of makes me feel safer because it's Harrold - we don't have a police station here."

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Conn., some members of Congress have begun pushing this solution: arm teachers as a first line of defense.

They believe such a plan could have saved lives in Newtown.

"I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office locked up," Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said.

In fact, 28,000 schools around the country already have armed security staff. They're at 20 percent of primary schools, 54 percent of middle schools, and 68 percent of high schools.

But the question now is whether or not teachers should be armed. At least one company is already training them.

"Violence needs violence sometimes. To solve the problem you have to disrupt the behavior of the bad guy. We think firearms are a good alternative," David Burnell, CEO of OPSGEAR, told CBN News.

But former high school principal Bill Bond disagrees. He was principal at Heath High School in Paducah, Ky., when a 14-year-old shot and killed three students in 1997.

Bond said more guns mean more bloodshed.

"A lot of innocent kids would be killed by the principals and teachers trying to stop something before it started," Bond said.

Teachers themselves are divided. 

"My gut reaction is no way, the more guns in the building the less safe the school," teacher Alison McPherson said.

With growing concern about school safety, entrepreneurs around the country are coming up with new approaches.

One company created a back pack with a sheet of bullet resistant body armor sewn in.

And one Marine dad is doing his part. Since the Sandy Hook tragedy he's standing guard, protecting the children at his daughter's school.

**Originally aired December 20, 2012.

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