The leaders of the Harrold Independent School District hope that if violence comes to their tiny town on the Texas/Oklahoma border, they’ll be ready. Half of the district’s 27 employees – men and women; teachers, janitors and coaches – are training to shoot to kill an intruder to protect their students.
“Our situation is a lot different,” says Cody Patton, superintendent of Harrold schools. “I know some of your bigger schools and a lot of the people are against it. But they’re not in our situation. We are a rural school in the middle of nowhere.”
In the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre that killed 19 students and two teachers, conservative lawmakers in Texas are calling for more teachers to get weapons. Most teachers are emphatically against it. But the strategy is catching on with more and more isolated school districts, like Harrold, where the nearest officer is miles away.