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North Texas School District Set To Arm Staff Members

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DENTON COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Armed staff members will soon be walking the halls of schools in one North Texas school district.

The Argyle Independent School District school board has approved a plan to allow certain teachers and other staff member to carry concealed firearms.

Employees would have to volunteer to be a part of the program and their identities will be kept secret.

When parents arrived at Hilltop Elementary School Wednesday afternoon, word was already spreading about the approved plan.

Argyle ISD parent Jordan Jackson said, “I don’t know if it’s the answer, but it kinda stacks the deck in our favor, I feel like.”

Argyle administrators have spent the past year planning and preparing an expansion of campus security for its four-school district.

The district hired a police chief and then worked with school security specialist Greg Coker to train specific employees on using a gun if the situation warrants.

“Parents are concerned, teachers are worried, kids are worried…and this is one way to keep our kids safe,” said Coker.

School district officials point to the horrific mass shootings on public school campuses as the motivation behind the move.

The individual staff volunteers who carry concealed weapons o campus must be a licensed gin carrier and have completed a firearms and emergency response training course.

At local schools, and area neighborhoods, those who send their children to Argyle Schools opened up about the employee firearm rules.

With the requirement Argyle parent Melissa Widerquist said, “I feel if there’s enough training, it’s a safe thing to do.” Another mother, Dawn Conover agreed saying, “I feel the children would be safer if someone had a concealed handgun license and knew what they were doing.”

Argyle Superintendent Talena Wright and the president of the school board both declined to discuss the new firearms policy with CBS 11 News.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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