CLARKTOWN, AR –
In what has become routine for students in Gantner Middle School’s 5th hour wood-working class, students found themselves without a teacher again on Wednesday when industrial arts instructor Marvin Haurbruch spent the entire afternoon on a reconnaissance mission along the school’s playground perimeter.
The teacher’s self-described “patrols,” performed while carrying a rifle and wearing military-grade night vision goggles, began when the local school board authorized arming teachers in the wake of recent school shootings.
“We have no idea when a maniac may try to shoot up the place,” said Mr. Haurbruch, who has 13 years experience teaching metals and woods in the Clarktown School District. “So, vigilance is key.”
Spends Morning Hours In Bushes Outside Front Door
Mr. Haurbruch, who raised his hand immediately when the principal asked for volunteers to take up arms last month, has spent the majority of his days since then circulating aimlessly around the school campus.
“I usually take up position around 0600 hours in sector one,” he said, referring to the doors outside the media center in the front of the school. “From there, I vary my movements from day to day so as not to be predictable, but generally make my way thru the trees around the building to the cafeteria for a short break at 0800.”
Although his first class begins a few minutes later at 8:10, Mr. Haurbruch often continues his patrols into the late morning. “From 0830 to 0930 I patrol the roof and check interior stair cases using my night vision goggles, so as not to alert intruders as to my presence.”
“From 0930 to 1100 hours, I question students and teachers in the hallways and verify their identities, and then make a full report to the commander at 1200 hours,” he said, referring to the school’s principal, Steven Jackson.
Principal Has Proposed Disciplinary Measures
Although told repeatedly by Principal Jackson that he needs to be in his classroom ready to instruct his students when the bell rings, Mr. Haurbruch has so far refused to break off his patrols.
“I keep my daily logs secured in this locked cabinet,” he said, motioning to a safe he installed next to the band saw in the industrial arts room. “They are stamped ‘Confidential – Eyes Only’ in case someone stumbles across them, but I’m the only one with the combination. And no one’s going to get that out of me, I can tell you that!”
Termination Proceedings Complicated by Contract
In the Clarktown School District, a teacher can be fired for non-performance of their duties if they have 14 unexcused absences from the classroom. However, since Mr. Haurbruch is technically on school grounds during the day, the process to replace him is unclear.
“We sympathize with the school district wanting to get rid of a teacher who refuses to teach,” said union administrator Ty Wakefielder, “but the contract stipulates that the teacher can be dismissed only for ‘failing to attend school’ – and since this teacher is still on the property during school hours, he is not violating the terms of his contract.”
Planning To Purchase Rocket Launcher
For his part, Mr. Haurbruch shows no signs of slowing the pace of his patrolling. “I put in a request with the district to purchase additional armaments at a PTA meeting recently, which we really need in case of a full frontal assault,” he said.
“The rear perimeter of the building is exposed to a railway which could be used by an enemy to convey a tank, or other large gun. But a rocket launcher on the south lawn would help deter such an attack.”
“I really hope they go for the rocket launcher,” he said. “The backup plan would be to deploy land mines in the south football field which is not optimal – it’s going to be tough to disguise them on such a smooth grass surface.”
“But, either way, we’ll figure something out,” he added. “The safety of our students depends on it.”
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