By Sarah Naron
GRAPELAND – The Board of Trustees for the Grapeland Independent School District took time to recognize the UIL participants of Grapeland Elementary School and Grapeland Junior High School during its regularly scheduled monthly meeting held Monday, Feb. 26.
Each student was introduced to the board and took a moment to inform the board members of which events they participated in. Many of the students celebrated wins as individuals and teams in various events.
“We talk all the time about the importance of academics, and of course, this is one of the things that we certainly want to recognize when you guys pay attention to being great students,” said GISD Superintendent Don Jackson.
“We have a great reputation for a whole lot of things,” Jackson continued. “But I really want us to be known for our academic reputation.”
Jackson also expressed gratitude for the GISD staff members who coach the UIL students and encourage them “to be competitive in something beside sports.”
In his report to the board, Jackson also discussed the possibility of having teachers begin carrying firearms on campus.
“We have had some teachers express to me that they would not mind carrying,” Jackson explained. “That’s a situation where I’m willing to talk to our board about the direction we want to go.”
As Jackson pointed out, implementing such extreme security measures is easier said than done.
“If you have an active shooter, they don’t mind who they hit,” he said. “But if you have a teacher carrying, you have to be a marksman, because you certainly don’t want to hit somebody with friendly fire.
“It really would have to be some training done, and it would have to be people that you really trust to carry that out,” he continued. “You can’t just shoot at random, like an active shooter would.”
The board will be meeting with Grapeland Fire Chief Roger Dickey on Monday, April 2 to discuss the district’s crisis management plan, which Jackson explained is currently under review.
“We want to make it even better, but we do have a plan in case we have a situation that does come up,” Jackson said. “We do know how to respond in those situations, and Roger Dickey coming on the 2nd is going to make us even better.”
The board also approved the cancellation of its trustee election.
“We have Mr. Josh Goolsby and Mr. Alan Cheatham running unopposed, and for the spot of Mr. Paul Oliver, Mrs. Velda Parker was the only candidate that applied,” explained Jackson. “So, we don’t have to have an election.”
Sarah Naron may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.