ARLINGTON At Coker's Barbecue in Arlington Monday night, Texas brisket was served up with two sides of a heated debate.

On one side: Arlington ISD Trustee John Hibbs: "I believe in the school policy that we shouldn't have guns introduced on campus."

On the other side: David McElwee, who advocates arming Arlington teachers: "Bad guys don't pay attention to unarmed people."

A group that believes educators should be allowed to carry weapons on campus held an informal banquet room discussion aimed at convincing a couple of school board representatives that the idea's time has come.

"It's the last line of defense," said McElwee, especially in light of last month's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, "I don't want to see us have a Sandy Hook here in Arlington and I think it is a very, very strong possibility."

But the district says even the mention of guns in schools has created a backlash. "I have probably received 45 or 50 e-mails and telephone calls and it's across the board everybody saying that we don't feel we need to have guns," Hibbs said. "This is not what we should be going towards."

So despite the impassioned debate over dinner, Arlington ISD leaders are sticking to their guns that firearms have no place in the classroom.


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