As gun debate roils on, teachers in this Texas school are already armed

In the days since a 19-year-old gunman stormed onto his former high school campus in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people with an AR-15 assault rifle, the nation has been embroiled in a debate over what to do about school violence: How do you make it stop?
Here at Argyle High School, they already have an answer to that question: The teachers are packing handguns.
A sign outside campus warns: "Please be aware that the staff at Argyle [Independent School District] are armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students."
Among those arriving Thursday was teaching assistant Theresa Locastro, who said the school board's decision to allow staff to be armed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 "set an example for various schools that we mean business."
"I know there's a lot of controversy, and people who don't want to arm them," said Locastro, 44. But she thinks armed staffers can deter attacks like the Parkland gunman. "Hopefully, it will make them think twice," she said.
In about two dozen states, including California, schools can allow staff to carry guns on campus, although some require concealed-carry licenses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Experts say it's not clear whether such policies reduce the likelihood of school shootings or the death toll. But President Trump and other lawmakers have voiced support for arming teachers — on Thursday the president suggested giving bonuses to school staff members who carry guns. Officials at Argyle and other districts say the policies deter shooters and provide peace of mind, and that other schools should follow their lead. Scores of Texas school districts allow teachers to carry arms.