Seagraves Arms Staff, Signs Spark Debate 10/2/13
CBS 7 News
October 2, 2013
SEAGRAVES-"I hope the message is that we care enough about our students and staff to take any measures that we can to keep them safe,” said Seagraves ISD Superintendent Kevin Spiller.
In January, Seagraves ISD joined a handful of Texas school districts in allowing staff members to carry guns, requiring special training and a concealed handgun license.
Now many in the community are talking about controversial new signs on all of its campuses.
Seagraves says it's not enough just to arm some staff, but they need signs like this one to send a strong message to the community and beyond.
Some say it's a sign of the times. The displays are posted outside the sleepy hallways where about 600 Seagraves students spend their days.
"Hopefully when they see this they know there will be somebody who will confront you and you won’t have free reign in our school," Spiller said.
The signs are strongly worded, “Staff are armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students,”
"We chose it so we are comfortable with it, we wanted to send a strong message," said Spiller, who noted that the language was taken from similar signs elsewhere.
The superintendent says 95 percent of teachers were on board with the new Guardian Gun Policy and that parents were also in support. Most people we spoke with agree.
“We have to let everybody know that we are ready to protect our children,” said Seagraves Resident Linda Woehl.
Others--like June and Duane Cornett were more skeptical, expressing fears of what might happen if a teacher went bad.
“You just never know, It’s just like someone walking down the street, you never know who will be the one to blow up,” said June Cornett.
It’s a risk Seagraves ISD is willing to take.
"You discuss all the potential problems, but when it gets down to it, we felt like the pros far outweighed the cons," Spiller said.
The signs went up early this summer.