In Texas' Harrold Independent School District, The Guardian Plan consists of four components. An employee must obtain a concealed handgun license from the state of Texas, and the school board would approve them individually to carry in schools. The teachers must then go through extended training, and the ammunition used in the guns must be frangible, meaning it is made of small particles and breaks apart when it hits a hard object like wood or a plastic wall.
Harrold employs about 25 teachers and personnel, but superintendent Thweatt would not specify how many employees or which ones carry concealed weapons in the schools. Thweatt said many parents in his district support the concealed-handgun policy for teachers.
"Parents often cite that the reason they're bringing their kids to our schools is because we have better security for them," he said. "When you send your kids to school, you want them to come home to you."
In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, Thweatt says more school districts in Texas have reached out to him for information about Harrold's concealed-handgun policy.
The Texas penal code prohibits weapons from being used in schools or educational institutions "unless, pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution," language allows for school boards to determine whether teachers can carry handguns in schools.
Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, said the agency has not heard of other school districts' wishing to implement the same policy as Harrold but noted that the districts would not be required to report it to the agency.