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Hallsville ISD board approves guidelines for armed administrators

HALLSVILLE, Texas (LNJ) - The Hallsville ISD board of trustees approved guidelines Monday for its school guardian program.

According to our newspaper partners, the Longview News Journal, six board members voted to adopt regulations for the program that will arm three to five administrators by August 2019. Trustee Lee Gaw, who voiced opposition for the program in July, abstained from voting.

Assistant Superintendent John Martin said the board members have had 30 days to review guidelines for the guardian program.

Board President Jay Nelson said that because it’s now a board policy, trustees would have to reconvene if they want to make changes to it.

The approved guidelines state that school guardians can display or use the firearm on school property only if “there is an active shooter or assailant using a weapon to create ‘a life-threatening event’ or to cause ‘serious bodily injury.’” In addition to the guardians, the district has its own police department to patrol its five campuses.

Hallsville ISD plans to select and train candidates this month, according to a tentative timeline presented in July by Martin.

“For the protection of staff members identified as candidates, the designation will be revealed in executive session, and their identities will be kept confidential,” the regulations read.

Candidates must “successfully complete” a psychological evaluation, obtain a license to carry a handgun and go through additional training including “extensive firearms training” and crisis intervention.

After completing the training, the district’s safety selection committee will vote in July 2019 on candidates and recommend approved candidates to the board of trustees, according to the timeline. Board members will vote to give guardian authority to each staff member individually and “issue each authorized member a ... resolution that authorizes participation in the program as a Security Team Member.”

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