Teachers Differ On Whether Guns In The Classroom Make Sense

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelFebruary 26, 2018 2:58 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

President Donald Trump’s proposal to arm more teachers in the wake of the recent school shooting in Florida is getting mixed reviews in Texas.

Some public-school employees can already carry firearms in Texas if they undergo training and their district allows it. Aransas Pass Police Chief Eric Blanchard said that it could help schools with limited resources protect themselves.

“While we work with the school district to fix some of the safety issues and develop a more comprehensive plan or approach to dealing with the security dynamics of our district, we need something immediate that we can insert right now that would afford these educators with a fighting chance,” he said.

Others have denounced the practice though. Zeph Capo, head of the Houston Federation of Teachers, told Houston Public Media that an armed teacher could be mistaken for a threat by law enforcement. And the Austin American-Statesman reports that Louis Malfaro, president of the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said “Teachers universally reject the idea that somehow it’s our job to carry weapons in schools.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Catholics to support undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, also called Dreamers.

Congress has failed to pass a long-term solution for them to legally remain in the U.S. after the White House announced an end to a program granting temporary protected status. Monday, the conference declared a national call-in day, asking Catholics to contact their elected officials and urge action.

Bishop Joe Vasquez is the bishop of the diocese of Austin, and chair of the conference’s migration committee.

“Their limited legal protections will begin to expire on March 6, and Congress is deadlocked over this critical issue. contact your elected representatives in Washington, and ask them to give Dreamers protection and a path to citizenship,” Vasquez said.

Texas has the second-largest population of Dreamers, after California.

Rep. John Culberson wants the Justice Department to investigate what the Army Corps of Engineers knew about the effect Hurricane Harvey could have on two west Houston reservoirs. The Addicks and Barker reservoirs overflowed during Hurricane Harvey, flooding nearby neighborhoods.

Culberson, a Houston Republican, wants the investigation to focus on whether the corps knew that was likely, writing that if they knew, “I believe those responsible for this failure need to be held civilly liable.”

A spokesperson for the corps said in a statement to the Houston Chronicle that officials released information to the public multiple times a day during Hurricane Harvey.