Big Country

Whatever it takes to protect students: Brookesmith ISD allowing armed staff

Guns in school: What one big country school district is doing to protect their students

BROOKESMITH, Texas - When the nearest law enforcement is more than 20 minutes away, Brookesmith ISD Superintendent Dr. Jay Smith said their rural campuses must be prepared.

"You know children come here to learn, and it should be the safest place for them," said Smith.

One school official has a concealed handgun license, and later four others will be chosen to carry a gun on campus.

"Probably have two people on each campus, and then we have a separate ag shop, and have that person (armed) as well," said Smith.

Superintendent Smith said assigning "visitor badges" and locking doors simply isn't enough anymore.

"You know, parents everyday send us their most valuable possession, their children, and we are trusted with their children, and we value that trust, and we're going to do whatever we need to do to protect those children," said Smith.

There will also be signs placed on the outside of the school buildings alerting the public that Brookesmith ISD staff are armed.

The signs will read: "Attention: Please be aware that the staff at Brookesmith ISD are armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students."

Smith said the guns will not be kept in classrooms with children.

Superintendent Smith started talking to school board members about a policy allowing guns on campus in December, following the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut.

The Brookesmith firearms policy is based on the 2007 Harrold school district policy.

Brookesmith ISD school board members approved the policy in their January 23 meeting.

A copy of the CKC local school safety policy is on Brookesmith ISD's website http:// Click the "Our District" tab and then "Public Information."

Smith forwarded a copy of Brookesmith ISD's policy to the Texas Association of School Boards, and a representative told Smith "they're getting a lot of business on this matter."

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