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Texas Teachers Take Handgun Training

by Lance Rosenfield

Teachers and staff of Clifton Independent School District in Clifton, Texas take the Concealed Handgun Permit training from Big Iron. Big Iron is owned and operated by Johnny Price. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

While in Austin two weeks ago, Education Week sent me on a rather interesting assignment: teachers training for their Concealed Handgun License in Clifton, Texas.

It’s hard for me to fathom any of my teachers carrying a concealed handgun in the classroom when I was in school. I suppose we live in a time when this is becoming a reality. The idea that gun violence has reached a high enough level in our society that school officials are seriously considering arming teachers and staff as a measure of security is quite frankly a sad sentiment. Would it work? Would the obvious dangers of having loaded handguns in classrooms day after day pay off? Kids are smart like foxes, we have to remember. After the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut following a growing string of school shootings in the past two decades in America, school district officials are forced to take a hard look at this question.

And while the district in Clifton, Texas has not yet adopted a measure to arm teachers, the fact that 78 of their teachers and staff took the Concealed Handgun Training less than two weeks ago speaks volumes to how the district is considering the option. And they certainly are not alone. Trainer Johnny Price, owner of Big Iron in Waco, Texas, said his schedule has filled with training sessions for school districts around the state after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Education Week writer Nirvi Shah’s balanced and well-written piece, ‘Armed Educators in Some Schools, Debated in Others’ is well worth the read.

These and more images are available for licensing in our archive.

Luke Price, foreground, of Big Iron, trains teachers and staff of Clifton Independent School District in a concealed handgun class near Clifton, Texas. L to R: Julie Davis, special education aid at Clifton Elementary School; Sheila Musselman, Clifton Elementary School computer lab; Amy Crabtree, pre-K at Clifton Elementary School; and Carolyn Billington, receptionist at Clifton Elementary School. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

Carolyn Billington shoots a 9mm Smith & Wesson during a concealed handgun training class offered to teachers and staff of Clifton Independent School District in Clifton, Texas. Ms. Billington is a receptionist at Clifton Elementary School. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

Luke Price, center, of Big Iron leads teachers and staff of Clifton Independent School District in Clifton, Texas in a Concealed Handgun Permit training class. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

Detail of a magazine of 9mm bullets held by Carolyn Billington, a receptionist at Clifton Elementary School in Clifton, Texas, during a concealed handgun training class. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

Brenda Finstad, left, and Sheila Musselman, right, take their targets after a shooting session during a concealed handgun training class offered to teachers and staff of Clifton Independent School District in Clifton, Texas. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

Carolyn Billington, left, a receptionist at Clifton Elementary School in Clifton, Texas, receives training from Luke Price of Big Iron at a concealed handgun training class near Valley Mills, Texas. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

Teachers and staff of Clifton Independent School District in Clifton, Texas take the Concealed Handgun Permit training from Big Iron. Big Iron is owned and operated by Johnny Price. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

Bennett Fields, a coach and teacher at Clifton High School in Clifton, Texas, participates in Concealed Handgun Permit training. February 7, 2013. CREDIT: Lance Rosenfield/Prime (Lance Rosenfield/Prime)

 

 

Posted by Lance Rosenfield on Feb 18th, 2013 in Latest News | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “Texas Teachers Take Handgun Training”

  1. 1 gumanow said at 9:10 am on February 21st, 2013:

    can’t help but think that teachers will now be marked by their students as targets and try to steal their guns, or even turn on their teachers during class. i personally know that students have harassed teachers (my sister) and have pulled knifes on them. How would it look to the public if a teacher pulled a gun on his/her own student?

    Great job with the article Lance.

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