FAYETTEVILLE, TEXAS -- Fayetteville has one school. One building, in fact, where all 286 students from Kindergarten to 12th grade attend class.

The town is located about an hour-and-a-half East of Austin, almost perfectly halfway between ATX and Houston.

The small school and small town result in some unique concerns. There's no police department for instance, and no officers stationed at that small school.

On Monday, rural Fayetteville was getting attention for a letter sent to parents and a sign on their campus.


"Please be aware that the staff at Fayetteville ISD may be armed and will use whatever force is necessary to protect our students," the sign on campus read.

In a letter to parents, Administrators explained that they were launching a "Guardians" program on campus.

"Recently, the board has changed local policy and has created a group that we will call 'Guardians,'" The letter read. "They will have the right to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds."

FISD Superintendent Jeff Harvey explained that while shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, had influenced their decision, they weren't the cause of it.

FISD letter to parents

"We have gone through this process since it became a discussion at our school board about eight-and-a-half-months ago," Harvey said. "We came back in January, put it up as an action item and the board agreed to unanimously begin our 'Guardian' program."

Harvey said their goal was not to create vigilante teachers who would take unnecessary risks and escalate situations. Rather, this program was meant to be used in addition to their normal lockdown procedure but give certain teachers and staff an opportunity to fight back in the worst of situations.

"We have numerous folks on staff that have military backgrounds," Harvey said. "Everyone here believes in that sense of protectiveness of their kids. Each one of these kids are ours. We treat them like they're our own and we want to make sure we're prepared to do whatever it takes to protect them."

The letter detailed a vetting process that teachers and staff would have to go through to be able to carry on campus:

"The Guardians will be staff members who have passed each of the following requirements (and more):

1. Hand-selected staff members

2. Must have their License to Carry permit (LTC).

3. Must pass a psychological exam just like local law enforcement

4. Must qualify annually with the specific handgun they will carry.

5. Must be on the random drug testing list and pass all tests.

7. Must be trained in tactics for denying an intruder entry into a classroom or facility.

8. Must be approved by the school board."

Harvey added that "Guardians" will all be volunteers. There will be no requirement that any staff member or teacher be a part of this program.

He also added that those selected will never be revealed to the public or students. Part of their plan, Harvey said, was to keep the guns on campus hidden and their users anonymous.

Harvey added that he doesn't necessarily think this plan would work everywhere. He said Fayetteville, with it's small campus, lack of local police and large volunteer base, is the perfect place for "Guardian" teachers and staff to be able to take action.

"I want to make sure we're doing what is right for our community and our kids," he said. "That's my number one concern. What happens in other districts, that's their business. What happens in Fayetteville ISD, that's our business."

The plan, while announced Monday, has already been put into place. Harvey said there were already some faculty members who had been approved by the board to be "Guardians."