TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Tyler Independent School District Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead for the Guardian Plan on Monday during a workshop.
This will allow some employees to carry certain firearms. They will be selected by the board of trustees and the superintendent to have firearms at schools, board meetings and other school events on district property.
“The district sees this as an extra line of defense to ensure the safety of our students and staff and will always first rely on our Tyler ISD police force and partnerships with local law enforcement agencies,” said Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty L. Crawford.
Some parents are split on this new decision.
“I don’t feel comfortable with staff carrying firearms around our children,” said Cody Grace, a Tyler parent.
Tyler ISD has spent more than $4 million on putting safety measures in place, but they said it was time to add another layer of protection.
“We do want to make sure the community knows as part of this inspection of ourselves and reflection this summer, after Uvalde, that this is something we thought we are going to need as time goes on,” said Crawford.
Apart from the Guardian Plan, Tyler ISD is going to hire more Tyler ISD police officers.
There will now be 34 officers in total, so there will be an armed officer at every elementary school campus and more than one armed officer at the secondary schools.
District employees who are selected to carry a firearm will need to complete hours of training in crisis intervention, management of hostage situations and other issues decided by the board.
“We will be installing signs at campus entrances stating that some of our employees are armed,” said Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Hines. “We hope this warning will be one more deterrent for anyone thinking about harming our students and staff.”
Tyler ISD is also going to maintain its partnerships with the Tyler Police Department, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, the constable’s office, federal agencies and the Tyler Fire Marshal.