Argyle, TX – A school district in Texas is using the high school shooting in Florida as reinforcement of its policy of having armed staff and faculty at all three of its campuses.
Argyle Independent School District has trained and armed some of its personnel dating back to January of 2014, according to KDFW-TV. The school district decided to arm its staff in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting.
“It’s just yet again, another reminder to us to keep this going, keep this going!” said Argyle ISD Police Department Chief Paul Cairney on Feb. 15.
The Argyle ISD also hosted a large active shooter training simulation in the summer of 2016.
“We handpicked these people, we make sure they go through an extensive screening process. They go through a psychological evaluation and then I go through an intense training where they shoot over 900 rounds of ammunition and just a few days,” Chief Cairney said, according to KDFW.
Argyle school officials will not reveal how many of the staff and faculty are armed.
“We never tell people exactly how many people we have trained or who they are, that’s part of the genius I think of the program, is to keep the mystery there. So, nobody knows,” Chief Cairney said.
Chief Cairney said he knows there are critics of the district’s plan. And he says he is open to suggestions.
“If you think of something better, let us know,” Chief Cairney said. “We’re willing to listen, but at the same time, the day of doing nothing is over.”
On Feb. 17, the Argyle ISD Police Department posted a link to a MSNBC interview Chief Cairney conducted.
“This isn’t about a national debate on gun control — this is what we are doing to keep our students safe,” the Argyle ISD Police posted. “Thanks again to our armed staff for taking on this challenge! That you would be willing to face an armed adversary is the real story!”
The Keene Independent School District in Texas also allowed its staff to carry guns starting in 2015, according to WFAA-TV.