KEENE, TEXAS — The board members of Keene Independent School District have enacted a guardian program designed to allow select trained, teachers to voluntarily carry a gun issued to them by the district. The measure is largely restricted to a few staff members who will be trained personally by the Keene ISD police, according to the Washington Times.
“We’re going to do a minimum of 80 hours a year of training,” said Keene ISD Police Chief Tim Kosar. “We’ll do it at least quarterly, and three of four times [that] we train a year will be at a range.”
The Keene ISD board heard comments from both those in favor of the motion and those staunchly opposed before enacting the program. Superintendent Ricky Stephens had initially dismissed the idea when he was first hired by the district but has since changed his mind based upon the occurrence of school shootings across the country.
“If you’d asked me nine years ago, 10 years ago, whether I ever would’ve been for it, I would’ve said ‘no,’ ” Mr. Stephens said. “That old mentality of ‘it can’t happen here’ has started to leave a lot of small towns.”
The chief of police for the ISD has stated that the exact number and location of personnel equipped to handle an active shooter will not be disclosed for the safety of both the students and the faculty themselves. Firearms will be kept on each teacher at all times and an 80 hour a year training requirement is pretty extensive, to be honest, but it is also the decision of the board.
We’ve reported on other school districts, such as a few in Ohio, which have also submitted faculty and teachers to extensive training programs to equip them to handle active shooters. The real question is — is it enough?
Thankfully, like Utah, this Texas district doesn’t report its numbers to the public. Concealed carriers, in general, and especially those tasked with protecting innocent children, shouldn’t be forced to disclose their firearms for operational security reasons.