East Texas school district arming some teachers to begin 2022-23 school year

*NOTE: This is a stock photo.
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.(MGN Online)
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 3:51 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2022 at 8:38 PM CDT
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CASS COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) - A small east Texas school district began the year with the goal of putting safety first for students and staff. School leaders say they do not want to have a Uvalde situation at their district.

“I feel like we have one of the safest schools in the area,” said Angela Creek, a teacher.

Bloomburg, Texas, Independent School District is heading into the new year with a $400,000 playground, which was built with federal grant money. School leaders say this equipment cannot be enjoyed if students and staffers are not safe.

“I know they are carrying weapons and that’s great for our safety,” Creek said.

Bloomburg ISD leaders say they were among the first districts in east Texas to institute the Texas School Guardian Program, which allows some of the teachers to carry a firearm on campus.

“We are at least 10 minutes, according to DPS, from the nearest police response,” said Brian Stroman, superintendent of Bloomburg ISD.

[FROM OUR ARCHIVES: As gun debate persists, ETX school discusses controversial safety policy]

Stroman says safety has always been a priority for this small school district of 300 students.

“Our community can know and rest assured that people are trained and we can use deadly force if needed to stop. ... We don’t want an incident in Bloomburg ISD like in Uvalde, so we do not have to wait,” Stroman said.

The Texas AFT surveyed 5,100 Texas K-12 and higher education employees, parents and community leaders the week after the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde. Following are the survey results:

The Town of Bloomburg is patrolled by one part-time police officer and deputies with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

“It cuts down on response time if they are in a position to act and make moves. It buys us extra minutes to get here before we can come up with a game plan,” said Officer Dustin Andrews.

“This is more than a district. This is like a family and I think we have an obligation to the taxpayers to protect these kids,” Stroman said.

The superintendent says for security purposes, he could not identify or give the number of teachers who are armed with weapons.

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