GATESVILLE — After seeing a district-wide survey that shows school employees strongly favor allowing at least some district workers to carry firearms on campus, the Gatesville school board Wednesday asked Superintendent Stewart Speer to present a firearms policy template for consideration at the next board meeting.
“I support our faculty or select staff members being able to carry concealed handguns,” Speer said. “There are a lot of questions, and we need to decide what we want to do.”
The survey was sent to district employees after the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 first-grade children and six adults dead.
The survey drew 234 responses from district employees — 20 percent from the primary school, 9 percent from the elementary school, 23 percent from the intermediate school, 20 percent from the junior high, 25 percent from the high school and 7 percent from district-wide employees.
Teachers made up 62 percent of the respondents, support staff 24 percent, instructional aides 10 percent and administrators 6 percent.
Most respondents — 78 percent — said district employees should be allowed to carry firearms on campus.
Respondents split almost equally on whether they themselves would opt to carry a concealed weapon on campus, while 93 percent favored armed security guards in the district.
An overwhelming 83 percent of respondents rejected the idea that parents of schoolchildren should be allowed to carry concealed firearms to schools and school events.
Asked whether an employee should be “psychologically evaluated” before being approved to carry a firearm, 87 percent of the respondents said yes.
Comments submitted with the survey varied widely as to which district employees should be allowed to carry handguns in schools.
“All,” said one respondent.
“Leave the firearms off campus,” said another. “Hire a full-time security guard.”