16 Aug 2008

Teachers allowed to carry concealed firearms

10:03 pm on 16 August 2008

Teachers in an area of Texas are to be allowed to carry concealed firearms when the new school term opens this month.

The school superintendent in Harrold district says the move was intended to protect staff and pupils should there be any gun attacks on its campus.

Teachers would have to undertake crisis management training first, the superintendent, David Thweatt, says.

In recent years the United States has seen a number of fatal school shootings.

Trustees have approved the policy and parents did not object, Mr Thweatt says.

"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started," he says.

Mr Thweatt said he believed the school's proximity to a large, busy motorway could make it a target.

"If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is okay because we were able to protect them," Mr Thweatt said.

Texas outlaws the presence of firearms at schools unless individual institutions allow them.