Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that he supports a school district's decision to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes start this month.
Trustees of the Harrold Independent School District approved a policy change last year to allow employees to carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings.
“There's a lot of incidents where that would have saved a number of lives,” Perry said after a news conference in Austin.
Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses unless specific institutions allow them.
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District policy requires a teacher carrying a gun to school to have a Texas concealed handgun license, authorization by the district to carry the weapon, training in crisis management and hostile situations, and ammunition designed to minimize the risk of ricochet.
The 110-student district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth, near the Oklahoma border. It has about 50 teachers and staff.
Asked whether other districts should take similar measures, Perry said, “It's up to those local school districts.”
Superintendent David Thweatt has said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection.
Officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change, Thweatt said.