Texas school district to let teachers carry guns

HOUSTON Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:41pm EDT

Guns are seen inside a display case at the Cabela's store in Fort Worth, Texas, June 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Guns are seen inside a display case at the Cabela's store in Fort Worth, Texas, June 26, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas school district will let teachers bring guns to class this fall, the district's superintendent said on Friday, in what experts said appeared to be a first in the United States.

The board of the small rural Harrold Independent School District unanimously approved the plan and parents have not objected, said the district's superintendent, David Thweatt.

School experts backed Thweatt's claim that Harrold, a system of about 110 students 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth, may be the first to let teachers bring guns to the classroom.

Thweatt said it is a matter of safety.

"We have a lock-down situation, we have cameras, but the question we had to answer is, 'What if somebody gets in? What are we going to do?" he said. "It's just common sense."

Teachers who wish to bring guns will have to be certified to carry a concealed handgun in Texas and get crisis training and permission from school officials, he said.

Recent school shootings in the United States have prompted some calls for school officials to allow students and teachers to carry legally concealed weapons into classrooms.

The U.S. Congress once barred guns at schools nationwide, but the U.S. Supreme Court struck the law down, although state and local communities could adopt their own laws. Texas bars guns at schools without the school's permission.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth in San Antonio; writing by Bruce Nichols in Houston, editing by Vicki Allen)

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