Prairiland ISD to allow teachers to carry guns on campus

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PATTONVILLE, TX -- Months after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, another school district votes to allow guns on campus, this one right here in Texoma.

Nicolette Schleisman spent the day in Lamar County finding out why Prairiland ISD voted to arm its teachers, and how it will work.

"We're a rural community. We're possibly 15 to 20 min out from law enforcement unless they're in the area. If something were to happen, we're defenseless," said Superintendent Ballard.

Monday, the Prairiland Independent School District voted to allow some teachers to carry guns on their four campuses. If they meet certain requirements.

It is something Superintendent Jeff Ballard says he never expected to do.

"Who would have thought we'd be putting guns on campus? But that's what it's come to. Sadly to say, but that's what it's come to," said Ballard.

Teachers must have their CHL and train with the Lamar County Sheriff's Office for active shooter drills on campus; they must also go through a psychological evaluation before they can bring a gun to school.

But the location of the guns, and who has them, will be carefully guarded.

"Nobody will know where they're at except the people who are trained to have them. The students will not have access. I'm not worrying about that a bit," said Ballard.

Residents around Pattonville say they fully support the school board's decision.

"I want to see our students protected. I want our schools to be safe for the students. I want them to be safe for the teachers. Anyone there should be able to walk into a school and feel safe," said resident, Talma Fowler.

"I think it's a good thing. As long as people are qualified," said resident Tom Vanderschaaf.

Ballard says they have been talking about making campuses more secure, ever since the shooting at Sandy Hook. But needed a cost effective way to do it.

"The best case scenario is to put an officer on each campus. You're talking 200 thousand dollars easily," said Ballard.

He says the most important thing is their students.

"It's all about safety and taking care of our kids," said Ballard.

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