LUBBOCK, Texas – The recent school shooting in Uvalde has sparked more controversy over the issue of gun control and if teachers should be armed. One West Texas school has implemented armed staff since 2018.

Those with Olton ISD said it’s completely voluntary for their staff to decide whether they want to have a gun in their classroom. If they choose to, they have to be tested through vigorous training techniques to determine if they can handle the pressure. 

Superintendent of Olton ISD Kevin McCasland said the trainings are composed of first aid and different scenarios of stressful situations.

“It’s one thing to be able to shoot at the range. It’s another thing to know how people are going to respond to stressful situations,” he explained. 

2018 was the year of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting which killed 17 people. McCasland said at that point it started to become a trend and they felt they needed to take action. 

“While it is concerning, it’s even more concerning if something happened and we had no options,” he added. 

“It became very real that this could happen in rural Texas,” said Olton ISD Board of Trustees President Connie Maxwell.

She added that if they were ever confronted with an unbalanced person, there’s only a few moments that matter. As hard as it is to admit, the district officials believe this is the scary reality of the world we live in today. 

“You just have to ask yourself — why not us?” McCasland said. 

They said this is a policy they have to reassure them if anything does happen, but they hope to never have to use it.