Guardian Plan training has already gotten underway, as several FSISD employees participated in the voluntary training.
FORT STOCKTON, Texas — More school districts across the state of Texas are taking steps to try and improve school safety with the help of the Guardian Plan.
Now, Fort Stockton ISD has joined the list of schools participating in the plan.
The Guardian Plan allows school districts to give authorization to trained staff to have firearms on their person while at school. This is all in an effort to protect themselves and their students in a crisis situation.
FSISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Zamora said that there have been discussions to bring the Guardian Plan to the district for quite some time, but that recent events might have brought more support to the plan.
“The discussions have been taking place for quite some time,” Zamora said. “I think that for a bit, SRO, a deal that we have in place, maybe slowed some of the progress down. And some of the recent sad events that have taken place in the state, I think, pushed it over the edge to where it now at this point received full support.”
The district partnered with Guardian Educators to get staff who wanted to participate trained. The training, which also requires a license to carry permit, covers a variety of topics.
“The training covers everything from how the body reacts to high-stress situations, interaction with first responders, how to avoid threats, deny entry, how to defend against threats in both traditional and nontraditional manners,” Kirk Price, co-owner of Guardian Educators, said.
Zamora is of the mindset that teachers are also first responders now. He wants to make sure that his community knows that the district is working hard to make sure students and staff are safe.
“We want to be ready, and we want for our parents to know that our kids are safe and that the staff that have been selected and who voluntarily have wanted to come forward to represent the safety and stand for the safety of our students, have been through the proper training,” Zamora said.
So far, Zamora said that community reception to the Guardian Plan, which was approved in the most recent school board meeting, has been mostly positive.
“As long as we’re living in this reality and in this set of circumstances, we have to accept that guns in the hands of bad people are a reality and it can occur,” Zamora said. “In that set of circumstances, we need to be sure that some of the good guys and good ladies are in a position to take care of our kids themselves.”
Even with participation for staff being voluntary, Zamora said that many staff members showed interest in participating.
He also mentioned that staff can opt out of participating if they choose so. The superintendent also has the ability to remove an individual from participating if he feels that the staff member is not meeting the standards set by the district and the Guardian Plan.