Orangefield Independent School District in Texas on Monday approved arming district employees, clearing the way for some teachers and staff to begin carrying guns on campus.
Trustees passed a resolution recognizing that administrators and employees “will be first on scene in the event of an armed intruder.” Board members said they determined “it would be in the best interest of the district to prepare for any and all safety and security situations” to allow certain employees to carry concealed weapons.
Board president Ronald Risinger said the decision was made based on the response time from local law enforcement to the campuses in case of an emergency, which would likely be about seven minutes.With 1,800 students, the Orange County district is allowed under state law to arm up to nine employees, or one for every 200 students, on what are otherwise gun-free campuses. The district is “in the process” of identifying the employees who will participate, but their identities will be kept confidential to protect their anonymity. Orangefield would be the first Southeast Texas school district to use marshals. Armed employees are only allowed to use their guns on campus to prevent “serious bodily injury,” Patterson said.