SAN ANTONIO — Everyone in this community agrees they want their kids safe at school, but the debate at East Central ISD Monday night was whether or not adopting the Guardian Plan would be the best way to protect those kids.
David Colbath survived the mass shooting at Sutherland Springs in November of 2017, and said he supports the plan. Colbath was one of three panelists speaking to the community about arming teachers on campus.
Superintendent Roland Toscano said school campus safety is one of their top priorities every school year, and this is a hard decision to make for the kids and community.
“It’s no more, 'if it will happen,' our current realization is 'how will we be prepared when it does happen,'” Toscano said.
This year, they added more officers to the East Central ISD police force so that an officer would be assigned to each campus.
In a survey conducted of nearly 600 teachers in ECISD, over 50 percent of teachers were in favor of the plan. But ECISD elementary teacher Daryl Anderson said that teachers shouldn’t be police officers.
“I think having that extra burden and stress and responsibility is not in our job description,” he said.
But Colbath said that burden could save more lives.
“Until it happens to you, you don’t know what it feels like to not have someone there with a gun to back you up,” he said.
Toscano said the board will discuss it again in their next meeting, but there is no word yet when they will vote on it.
It’s a debate that may take months to resolve to prepare for a situation where only seconds matter.
“When you see an active shooter situation in a school, the average start to finish is less than 5 minutes, so if we had a response team in 2 to 4 minutes, which we think is phenomenal, it could be over.”
For more information about the East Central ISD Guardian Plan, follow this link.