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'We wish we didn't have to do this,' Navasota ISD arming staff members

Navasota ISD is using the Guardian Plan that allows districts to hand pick staff to carry firearms on school grounds.

NAVASOTA, Texas — The answer to one question, should teachers be armed, varies in over 1,200 Texas school districts.

Dr. Stu Musick, Superintendent of Navasota Independent School District, is one of four districts in Grimes County that said yes.

 The Texas Legislature gave school districts the option of allowing concealed carry firearms on school grounds through two different methods in 2013. 

The two options were the School Marshal or Guardian programs.

In spite of similarities, Musick said there are differences between the options 

According to Dr. Stu Musick, they chose the Guardian plan to keep their students, faculty, and staff safe.

"The School Marshall Program selects a specific person after he or she has completed the licensing and training requirements. The Guardian program allows multiple personnel to carry concealed weapons within a school district." said Musick

"We wish we didn't have to do this." Musick said 

Navasota ISD has been providing this program for four years. It was recently brought to light by the Uvalde tragedy, however, he added.

"There were discussions many years ago for people to start thinking about options school districts had. Since recent events have brought it to the forefront, we hope it will remain a priority", said Musick.

It was reported that 84 districts out of 1,200 districts in Texas chose to have armed staff members. Musick stated that they hand-pick the staff for training before hiring, beginning with an application process.

"From those applications, if they meet the first criteria, the next step is a psychological evaluation," he explained. After passing the test, the next part of the training begins. Our certification requires three days of training, followed by annual recertification every two years."

 Musick explained that implementing this program is to prevent tragedies like Uvalde from occurring at Navasota ISD schools. In his long career in education, he never thought he would have to do this. In his opinion, it's just the current climate we're living in.

"We wish we hadn't had to do this. When I entered into education 31 years ago I never would of thought we'd be having this conversation or someone who is implementing this type of program." said Musick.

It is Musick's goal to continue to put the safety and security of all Navasota ISD staff and students first.

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