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PACKING FOR SCHOOL: GUNS ON CAMPUS (Harrold, TX)
Abilene (TX) Reporter-News ^ | August 6, 2009 | Ann Work

Posted on 12/17/2012 10:54:18 AM PST by okie01

WICHITA FALLS — One year ago, David Thweatt made a decision so controversial and groundbreaking the story about it sped around the world.

The superintendent of the isolated Harrold Independent School District, about 30 miles northwest of here, made history last August when he and his school board decided to allow select teachers and staff members at the 110-student school to carry guns on campus — a first for Texas and the nation.

For Thweatt and his board, the decision was pure mathematics.

The school, which sits in the middle of a prairie, was too far from law enforcement for police to come in time to fend off would-be attackers. The students and staff would be safer if on-site, trained staff members were equipped to handle a crisis at a moment’s notice, they decided.

Thweatt had already installed a $100,000 state-of-the-art security system in the school. Now, arming certain unnamed school staff members by allowing them to strap a firearm under their clothing was the final flourish.

In the year since that historic decision, a gun was never brandished or fired at the school. There were no problems, Thweatt said.

However, one week after school began, police busted a methamphetamine lab set up in an abandoned house that sat 50 feet from the school property.

A deputy had peered inside and “saw something in the walls and windows and called for backup,” Thweatt said. “They made it to the abandoned house in 15 minutes. We had figured it would take 18 to 20 minutes in a typical situation.”

Had that been an armed intruder at his school, response time would have been too slow.

“We’re the first responders. We have to be,” Thweatt said. “We don’t have 5 minutes. We don’t have 10 minutes. We would have had 20 minutes of hell” if attackers had targeted the school.

Harrold students, who grew up on ranches and in the middle of the North Texas gun culture, were unperturbed by the school district’s new gun policy.

“The kids just laughed about it,” Thweatt said.

Thweatt himself is the son of a retired minister/missionary/teacher in Abilene and a 1978 graduate of Abilene High School and Hardin-Simmons University.

Too small for athletics, Thweatt spent his time at Abilene High focused on his studies, particularly interested in journalism.

He wrote music and played guitar in a Christian band on weekends and was active in his father’s nondenominational Abilene Fellowship ministry.

Thweatt drove a school bus for the Abilene ISD and occasionally worked as a substitute teacher to help fund his education, graduating in 1983.

In Harrold, media attention was fierce all year. He talked to reporters from as far away as Ireland and New Zealand; he participated on more than a dozen talk shows. The story continues to spread; recently he saw a write-up in a Jerusalem newspaper. Only Finland and Switzerland reporters ignored the story; they already have high gun ownership rates, he said.

“I had a lot of interviews from kids and college kids,” he said. “They needed to learn. I’m an educator,” said Thweatt, who is opinionated but patient in interviews.

“Would you stick a sign at a school that says, ‘No guns on this property’? Why wouldn’t you? It invites nasty people to come,” he said. “That’s what you’ve done to every public school in the nation. That’s why there were no shootings until Columbine. It’s turned into a dad-gum shoot fest.”

Thweatt took calls from “just a handful” of Texas districts considering the same policy, but he wouldn’t say if any other districts had modeled Harrold’s M.O.

According to Barbara Williams with the Texas Association of School Boards, Harrold remains the only Texas school district with a guns-on-campus policy.

“We’re not aware of any others,” she said.

However, when Harrold made its groundbreaking decision one year ago, she watched the story go as far as Malaysia. She was even called by the Dr. Phil show, who asked her to help plan a show on the topic because they were so fascinated by it. She refused.

To her, it was so obvious as to be a non-issue. Dr. Phil, who claims to be a Texan, should know that, she said.

“This is Texas. I have a magnet on my refrigerator of the state with a plastic gun glued to it that says, ‘We don’t call 9-1-1.’ We find that funny in Texas,” she said.

When a London reporter asked Thweatt to explain why so many kooks go into schools looking for a body count, Thweatt said he couldn’t explain such a devolution of society, but he did know a simple way to stop it — the same solution he chose for Harrold ISD.

“Good guys with guns — good,” he said. “Bad guys with guns — bad.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; liberalagenda; schoolshootings
The Harrold, TX Independent School District has already done what needs to be done to forestall a school shooting in their community. "Staff is armed and trained. Violence will be met with deadly force".

Harrold is a rural community in Wilbarger County, between Wichita Falls and Vernon -- a single school with 111 students, K-12.

Their children are safe.

1 posted on 12/17/2012 10:54:24 AM PST by okie01
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To: okie01

Excellent! Thanks for posting!


2 posted on 12/17/2012 10:59:41 AM PST by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind.)
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To: okie01

Would that more superintendents would do this!


3 posted on 12/17/2012 10:59:59 AM PST by basil (Second Amendment Sisters.org)
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To: okie01

Would that more superintendents would do this!


4 posted on 12/17/2012 11:00:22 AM PST by basil (Second Amendment Sisters.org)
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To: basil
Note that this story is actually THREE years old.

The Harrold ISD has been practicing school security as it should be practiced since the start of the 2009 term.

5 posted on 12/17/2012 11:04:46 AM PST by okie01
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To: dirtboy

Pingeroonie.


6 posted on 12/17/2012 11:06:04 AM PST by okie01
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To: okie01
Photobucket
7 posted on 12/17/2012 11:35:47 AM PST by baddog 219
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To: okie01
This thread has just added to the FreeRepublic "bang list" (firearms interest list) by adding the keyword "banglist".

Any time a firearms-related thread is created on FreeRepublic, please be sure to add the "banglist" keyword to it so that interested FReepers don't miss it. Just a suggestion.

Let Freedom Ring,

Gun Facts v6!

Click the pic to go to the Gun Facts v6 download page!

8 posted on 12/17/2012 11:39:05 AM PST by Joe Brower (The "American People" are no longer capable of self-governance.)
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To: BuckeyeTexan
There are 489 school districts in PA and as of today 119 of them have armed security on site.

Butler school district, just north of Pittsburgh came on board today.

Most of the security guards are retired police officers and all have CCW permits.

It's a start but I think the right to carry at all schools should extend to all citizens that pass the CCW requirements.

9 posted on 12/17/2012 11:40:06 AM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages, start today.)
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To: okie01

Good post. We won’t be seeing this story on gAyBC news.


10 posted on 12/17/2012 1:08:16 PM PST by aimhigh ( Guns do not kill people. Planned Parenthood kills people.)
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To: Joe Brower
Click the pic to go to the Gun Facts v6 download page!

Thanks for your book. It's wonderful!!

11 posted on 12/17/2012 1:17:24 PM PST by aimhigh ( Guns do not kill people. Planned Parenthood kills people.)
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To: aimhigh
If I lived in the Harrold district, I wouldn't be concerned if they'd let the kids -- at least the high schoolers -- pack, as well.

In the ranchland up along the Red River, it's a good bet that every boy (and most girls) have been familiar with guns and used them -- at work and at play -- since about age nine.

When it comes to guns, liberals are burdened by impenetrable ignorance.

12 posted on 12/17/2012 1:48:24 PM PST by okie01
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To: okie01
I grew up thirty miles East of Punkin Center (Harrold). At least these common sense people are looking after the kids at the school and are proactive, unlike the people in the excessive gun control states.
13 posted on 12/17/2012 2:07:44 PM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: aimhigh
gAyBC news.

I like that...and will use it.

Thx!

14 posted on 12/17/2012 2:10:36 PM PST by Osage Orange ( Liberalism, ideas so good they have to be mandatory.)
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