The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Board meeting reveals district gun-free areas

Board+meeting+reveals+district+gun-free+areas

By Katelyn Needham/ editor-in-chief

The 11 areas where carrying handguns will be prohibited under campus carry were announced for the first time publicly in the March 23 board of trustees meeting.

“The proposed prohibited zones we have broken down into three categories,” TCC police chief Shaun Williams said during the March meeting. “The first category is those that are prohibited by Texas state law, which includes the child care facility on NE Campus.”

Other areas prohibited by state law are campus police departments, polling places and any UIL event will make a campus temporarily prohibited.

“There will also be temporary signs placed outside of board of trustees meetings,” he said. “Whether they are held here [the May Owen Center] or another location, there will always be a sign that prohibits guns from being carried into the meeting.”

Areas that include early college high school students will also be prohibited under the state attorney general’s opinion.

“This included South, SE and now the NE Campus,” he said. “We are currently working with NW Campus as well to make all of those buildings gun-free zones. The only building that we don’t have at this time is TR, which, once they get an entire floor, we will look at again.”

Other places that will be considered prohibited are theater and performance halls, health services, testing services, counseling services, gymnasiums and discipline or academic hearings.

“One of the challenges we had was to keep things consistent throughout the entire district,” Williams said. “So, we select these places, and we discuss all the places we were gonna make gun-free zones and to make sure that they weren’t campus-specific but districtwide. We didn’t want to set anyone up for failure.”

The prohibited areas will go into effect Aug. 1 when the campus carry law takes effect for all two-year colleges in Texas.

“I think it’s a very good policy, and it’s very well thought out,” board of trustees member Bill Greenhill said. “A large group of people met to make the policies: police, students, board members, community. We want to comply with the laws, and I think we did. I am very comfortable with it.”

In other business, Greenhill and Michael Evans were elected to the board unopposed at the March 23 meeting. They were the only candidates who filed to run for Districts Four and Five.

“I have been on the board for seven years and was elected in 2010,” Greenhill said. “I decided that I wanted to run again because I’m committed to the community college mission and enjoy working with the board and staff and students.”

Each term for a board member is six years. An election for District Three candidates Diane Patrick and Sean Hayward will take place May 6.

“It’s wonderful not to be opposed because it’s less expensive,” Greenhill said. “I’m grateful I won when I did run opposed. The community college is where the rubber hits the road in regard to educating and training our students. I am very committed to that.”

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