GATESVILLE — Central Texas teachers are adding a fourth “R” to the traditional reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic.
Since the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., officials have looked at ways to improve school security, including having teachers and other school workers trained to carry firearms.
Adam Fitzer of Texas Weapon Instructors in Gatesville is offering to teach school employees to shoot for free.
“We are offering a program free for any school district employee in the area,” Fitzer said.
The one-day course for educators is the basic training for the state concealed-handgun certificate, he said, plus some extra instruction on “things to think about without weapons” to enhance classroom security.
Since the first teacher training on Dec. 29, Fitzer said he has had “a flood” of school employees apply for the course.
So far, between 70 and 80 school employees from districts including Killeen, Copperas Cove, Gatesville and Jonesboro have completed the training, Fitzer said.
“We have courses booked through March,” he said.
The course costs $45 for anyone who is not a school district employee.
The training covers state law, how to carry a handgun and includes shooting-range qualification.
Those who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate with which they can apply for a Texas concealed handgun license, Fitzer said.
Fitzer said he is talking with school officials about providing additional training that goes beyond the basic handgun course.
Texas Weapon Instructors has six instructors who are combat veterans and/or retired law enforcement officers, Fitzer said. The company offers an array of training with pistols, rifles and shotguns.