Bonham ISD Superintendent shares Defender Program
By Bonham Rotary Club
Jul 24, 2014
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Bonham School Superintendent Dr. Marvin Beaty shared with the Rotary Club how the district will address the threat of an intruder on campus. With the increase of school shootings, this has been an unfortunate reality which the Bonham School District Board of Trustees has been forced to face.


The security program, which allows some BISD staff to carry concealed handguns on campus, will be fully implemented when school begins.  A select group of volunteers has trained and undergone extensive CHL and psychological testing in order to participate. 

The district has paid for CHL training through Texas Firearms Training Academy for the chosen volunteers.  Dr. Beaty explained it was three 8 hour days of intense training both in classrooms, which included hostage negotiation instruction, as well as on the shooting range.  The instruction worked under the premise of being in the school environment, discerning target from non-target, and accuracy. 

The handguns used in the Defender Program will be .22 to .45 semi-automatics.  Frangible ammunition will be used, which causes a great deal of damage.  Dr. Beaty will be the only known school employee which is involved, however, each campus will be involved, as well as any school property, such as the buses for security at all levels.

Bonham Police Chief Mike Bankston has given his approval, and will allow the BISD staff involved with the Defender Program to use the City Shooting Range at no charge, as long as they provide their own ammunition. 

In the event of a lock down, Dr. Beaty explained, we want to be sure every class is safe and no one is left defenseless.  This will not be a SWAT plan, but will be a shelter in place plan.  The district will have mechanisms on the doors so they will not open, and are working on ways to protect our staff and students.  Signage will be displayed at the entrance of each campus that indicates employees are authorized to carry concealed handguns.  Dr. Beaty expanded that in the future, security cameras, secure doors, and a procedure to gain permission to enter campus may be implemented, as well.