Defenders work to make Jacksboro schools safer
Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series looking at armed teachers and security measures in Jack County schools.
While many in the country are debating President Donald Trump’s suggestion of arming teachers, there are classrooms in Jack County that have been lead by armed teachers for years.
Most recently, Jacksboro ISD adopted a policy last year to allow for armed staff members. That policy was put into practice Nov. 6.
The district’s Defender Program first came about when a school board member approached Superintendent Dwain Milam about teachers carrying firearms following the May 1, 2017 stabbing attack on the University of Texas campus resulting in the death of a student from Graham.
The district enlisted the help of 22-year police veteran Mike Lane and the crew of Texas Firearms Training Academy to provide defensive and medical training to staff.
Lane, a Lewisville police officer, said the training he and his instructors provide is meant to help save lives in the minutes before police and EMS can arrive.
“Police are coming as quickly as they can possibly get there to their own peril at times,” Lane said. “But if you’re facing an armed attacker at some point, a police officer at 3 minutes away is too far. The same applies with medical treatment. If you have casualties even if the threat is eliminated you still have to address those casualties until medical help can arrive.”
Superintendent Milam said there are three levels of defenders among the staff of Jacksboro ISD. Level 1 includes all staff which are or will be trained in how to properly barricade a classroom and in extensive first aid training.
Level 2 Defenders are staff members who want a greater level of protection but do not have a firearm.
“We will train them with nonlethal defense measures and that will be something as simple as pepper spray,” Milam said.
Level 3 Defenders are staff members who are armed.
“They are the ones that have gone through the 3-day training program, psych evaluations and are (school) board approved to carry firearms,” Milam said.
To read the complete article, see the March 2 edition of the Herald-Gazette.