Levelland ISD Concealed Handgun Advisory Committee votes to recommend concealed carry by certain employees plus hiring additional police officers

The Concealed Handgun Advisory Committee for Levelland ISD met this afternoon and after a brief discussion voted to make a recommendation to the Levelland ISD Board of Trustees at their March 21 meeting.

Superintendent Kelly Baggett opened the meeting by again showing the results of the faculty survey. It was noted that the district has a total of 485 employees across the district and 320 elected to participate in the survey which equates to approximately 65% of the staff. I am posting the results of that survey below for those that may have missed it in the previous story. The responses are in bold print.

1) Would you consider the campus at which you are assigned safe, not as safe, or equally as safe as now if the District were to adopt a policy allowing certain school district employees who were legally licensed to carry a concealed handgun and received additional training relating to carrying weapons on your campus? 320 answers submitted—181 said safer, 65 said not as safe and 74 said safety would remain the same.

2) If the district were to adopt a policy allowing certain school district employees who were legally licensed to carry a concealed handgun and received additional training relating to carrying their weapons on your campus, would you consider volunteering to carry a concealed handgun? 320 answers submitted—165 said Yes while 155 said No.

3) If called upon to do so, would you take a human life to protect the lives of the children under your care? 303 answers submitted—281 said Yes while 22 said No.

4) Do you currently have a concealed handgun license? 319 answers submitted—11 said Yes while 308 said No.

After discussing the results of the survey, the floor was opened for discussion on the 3 options presented by school administration and drafted by the school attorney. Those options are as follows:

#1: Recommend to the LISD Board of Trustees to consider a policy authorizing specific school employees, who are licensed to carry concealed firearms, to carry such firearms on school property, at school sponsored or school-sanctioned events that occur on school grounds, and at LISD Board meetings. It is also recommended that specifically authorized individuals be approved by separate action of the board and be required to follow all regulations governing their carrying of firearms on school grounds. Finally, it is recommended that the Board issue written authorization to all approved employees.

#2: Recommend to the LISD Board of Trustees to consider hiring 2 additional police resource officers beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.

#3: Recommend to the LISD Board of Trustees do both, option 1 and 2 above.

As part of the discussion the group discussed additional training that could be required including an 40 hour active shooter training which is required of peace officers. It was also discussed that employees before they are allowed to carry go through a psychological evaluation. Law Enforcement officers present at the meeting including Levelland Police Chief Toney Cowan said he felt strongly that a psychological evaluation should be required.

It was also noted that only certain employees named by the superintended and approved by the school board would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

It was also pointed out that to hire 2 additional resource officers would cost the district an estimated 102 thousand dollars.

Following the discussion the committee voted to recommend option 3 to the board of trustees which involves certain staff approved by the board and superintendent could carry a concealed weapon on campus after they complete all of the required training and that the district and the city hire 2 additional resource officers beginning with next school year. The recommendation will be made at the Board of Trustee meeting scheduled for March 21.

About Drew Dunn

News Director for KLVT AM 1230 in Levelland. We provide local and regional news updates 5 times a day on KLVT AM 1230 and online at www.klvtradio.com
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