HVRSD to consider allowing campus security officers to carry concealed weapons

The HVRSD Board of Education will revisit the possibility of allowing campus security officers (CSO) to carry a concealed weapon in response to safety concerns raised by the deadly school shooting on May 24 in Uvalde, Texas, according to a video message shared with the HVRSD community by Superintendent Dr. Rosetta Treece on Friday. 

The District employs nine CSOs: two each for the middle and high school, one for each elementary school and an additional officer, hired this school year for the Board of Education, who also is shared among the schools on an as-needed basis. All CSOs have been working together to cover after-school events.

These officers are all retired law enforcement officers, which allows them to possess a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Three years ago, Treece said the District explored this possibility of arming CSOs but ultimately decided against it.

“The community decided at the time this was not something that we wanted to move forward with,” she said.“The Board will be revisiting this again based upon the recent school shooting.”

In a slide deck shared with the video, Treece outlined the standard operating procedures for CSOs and the protocols they would follow should they carry a concealed firearm on school grounds. She also shared other safety and security measures in place, including lockdown drills and controlled building access.

In an email to MercerMe over the weekend, Treece said the Board would likely discuss the concealed-weapon issue at the July 18 meeting, but that no decision would be made until the 2022/2023 following school year.

“This is not a decision that will be made in the summer, as too many parents are away. This will just be a preliminary discussion,” she said. “There will be others when we return to school.”

Last month’s shooting claimed the lives of 19 fourth graders and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Dan DeStefano, supervisor of counseling at HVRSD, shared resources with the school community in the days following the shooting, acknowledging what he called “senseless events.”

“Nothing matters more than the safety and comfort of the students in our buildings, and we will do all that we can toward that end,” he wrote.

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