A Texas school district has erected signs warning staff are armed and “may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.”
Union Grove Independent School District in Upshur County is now displaying the signs on both of its rural campuses, which are attended by around 750 students.
“Those signs are meant to be a deterrent, to anybody who may have ideas of something none of us want,” Superintendent Brian Gray told WTOC.
He added: “Faculty and teachers are comfortable with this, you could walk through our halls wouldn’t know no different. It’s a very well-regulated program. Just a select number of staff members.”
Of the select staff chosen to bear arms, they have a “concealed handgun license, [have] gone through psychological evaluations, hostage negotiation training as well as the defensive tactical firearm training.”
The policy was enacted in January with Union Grove school board vice president Rusty Dyar telling the Longview News Journal: “The worst thing we can do is nothing.” The signs went up late last month.
It is the second school to enact such a policy, with the Harrold school district, around 160 miles northwest of Dallas implementing the same measures in 2007, the Dallas Morning News notes.
State lawmakers began reviewing school security laws after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut – though even before the massacre Texas law allowed school districts to permit the carry concealed weapons option.
That shooting 18 months ago saw gunman Adam Lanza claim 27 lives before taking his own life.
President Barack Obama recently spoke of his frustrations that American has been unwilling to take basic steps to end gun violence.
He said: “Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced developed country on earth that would put up with this.”