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La Vernia ISD approves 'Guardian' program to allow staff to carry guns at schools

It's unknown how many staff members have expressed interest in training for the program. But school and city officials say this initiative could save lives.

LA VERNIA, Texas — Select staff members at La Vernia Independent School District could soon be armed with guns on campus.

The La Vernia ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve district policy, allowing for the adoption of the Guardian program.

“The program arms qualified staff members to carry a concealed firearm on their person to protect staff and students in the event of an active shooter,” said La Vernia ISD’s safety and security director Dr. Michael Duffek in a press release.

Guardian is overseen by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement while the Texas Association of School Boards provides guidance to school districts interested in setting up the program.

The Texas Association of School Boards noted state law in accordance with the authority of the federal GFSA (Gun Free Zone Act) allows school districts to “grant written permission for anyone, including designated employees, to carry firearms on campus.”

Lucinda Morales is a parent of a soon-to-be kindergartener.

“More safety is what I think,” Morales said. “And now that my child’s going into school I think it’s just another thing in my head where I feel more comfortable.”

But not everyone is completely on board, including Second Amendment supporters.

“I think it’s a horrible thing to have to arm our teachers,” said Paul Gros. “I’m on military bases all the time. I’m the spouse of an active duty military wife and I think it’s wild that they’re not even allowed to carry a weapon.”

Gros supports the right to bear arms and to defend yourself, but he wonders if there could be other ways to prevent school shootings.

“We should actually be more pro-active in finding these kids and just kicking them the heck out of school,” Gros said.

Duffek stated the adoption of the Guardian program involved a committee of community members.

The program is voluntary and will go through a rigorous process to interview train candidates who currently have a license to carry.

Outgoing La Vernia Mayor Robert Gregory expressed his support for a solution he believes could “save lives.”

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