VAN –– The debate in an East Texas town over whether teachers should be armed is in the news again after a school district employee was accidentally shot after a training class.
An employee at the Van Independent School District was shot in the the left leg during a concealed handgun license training class Wednesday, read a statement released by the district Thursday.
In January, the Van school board authorized chosen employees and "other persons" to carry authorized firearms on school property.
According to the statement, the employee, who is certified, stayed after the training to discuss a malfunction with his weapon. As the instructor and employee went over the malfunction, the gun discharged, striking the employee in the left leg. His injuries were not life threatening.
The employee was treated and released from a Tyler hospital. Citing privacy and security issues, the district did not reveal the employee's identity.
"This is not a perfect world, said Jim Clayton, a Van parent. "Things are going to go wrong, regardless.".
Clayton has two kids in Van ISD. The accidental shooting didn't change his mind. He believes district employees should be allowed to carry.
"I'm going to want to do what protects my children and other people's children," said Clayton.
Ronald Boling says the accident raises serious concerns about the district's new policy.
"What if the gun malfunctioning in class?," asked Boling. "If it's dropped in an accidental drop, it could go off."
The wounded employee is in fair condition at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. School Superintendent Don Dunn would not comment.
Van is located in Van Zandt County southeast of Dallas.
Read the full statement from Van ISD below:
At the conclusion of the CHL training on February 27, 2013, one certified person stayed for private instruction with the instructor and had a mechanical malfunction with his weapon. With the assistance of the instructor, the malfunction was addressed, but the gun misfired and the bullet ricocheted coming back to strike the VISD employee in the left leg. The VISD employee was attended to at the scene and transferred to Tyler for further treatment. The injury is not life threatening or disabling. Because of privacy and security issues we cannot make any further statement.