On December 14, 2012, 26 lives were taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and just two weeks ago, 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a deadly mass shooting on Valentine’s Day.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that an educator would have to worry about this,” says Christoval ISD superintendent David Walker.
The school district has a plan set in place for these situations called the guardian plan.
Walker says that Sandy Hook was just the spark to get something going.
One month after the shooting, the campuses were on their way to becoming armed for safety.
“We hope that they feel this is an extra layer of protection that they have,” Walker reassures.
Only certain personnel throughout the district can carry firearms on campus and at school functions.
They must attend active shooter training annually in the range and classroom along with medical trauma training and license to carry.
One part of the guardian plan? There is no wait time for law enforcement.
“Even with Sandy Hook, if I recall correctly, it was over 9 and half minutes before the first officer entered the building,” says Walker.
However, he says getting first responders on the scene is not an issue.
“The sheriff’s department will be en route, but when we’ve had false alarms in the past, we’ve also had state troopers, constables, game wardens, show so everyone in the immediate area,” Walker explains.
He believes in the midst of gun control debates following the fatal shooting in Florida that kids are the main focus right now and that there are counselors on staff ready to talk, all kinds.
“Our kids identify with different adults here so it may be that custodian that gives them a friendly smile or it may be the assistant principal,” Walker exclaims.
Christoval is the second school district in the state to implement this program and has received positive feedback.
And after 18 years of being an instructor, Walker says he wouldn’t change being responsible for 600 children.