The Guardian Program at Olton ISD will allow certain teachers and other district employees to carry a firearm. Signs around the school grounds say staff members are armed and will protect students.

“The signs say that Olton ISD staff are armed and are equipped to do whatever is necessary to protect our students and staff,” said Kevin McCasland, super intendant at Olton ISD. “Essentially what the message is, is that it’s a visual deterrent we’re hoping as people see that, that if there’s someone trying to cause a problem for us, there are people who are equipped to handle any kind of active shooter.”

For safety purposes, those that are carrying heat aren’t identified and they’re spread out across each campus.

McCasland said this program is something the district researched and required major input from the community.

“It is not something that needs to be done overnight, these conversations were actually started last spring so it was just now at the end of the summer that all of the policies were put into place, the training was completed, that the right individuals were selected,” McCasland said.

The guardians must be licensed to carry, trained, and have certified ammo and holsters.

“Our requirements are that they have a license to carry, that they have gone through proper training through outside trainers that we’ve brought in, we certify the ammo they carry, we certify the holster they use,” McCasland said.

The super intendant said the safety of Olton ISD students is their top priority.

“We’re here to educate students, we’re not here to pick a fight, but at the same time, there’s plenty of places where you’ve seen the fight was brought to the school, and it’s not what we’re looking for we’re here to educate kids, but we’re also here to protect them,” McCasland said.