Proposed law to add marshals in schools

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by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 7:32 PM

SPRING -- We all want our children to be safe, especially at school where they spend so much of their time, but how far do we go?

"If they had somebody trained a marshal or something come into the school I think that would be fine," said Spring ISD parent Cynthia Butler.

State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) is pushing a plan for so-called school marshals who are police officers, but civilian district employees like teachers or administrators who could get extra training and carry their concealed weapons at school as a sort of protection of last resort.

"What we are trying to do here is create a break glass in case of emergency for existing school employees," said State Rep. Jason Villalba.

It's similar to the federal air marshal program developed after Sept. 11, but using existing school employees and only the principal would know who the "school marshal" is.

To Cynthia Butler that's different than having an armed police officer on campus.

"I just don't think someone like that should have a gun be carrying a gun around school,” said Butler. “I just don't agree with it."

Wendy Sulak has guns locked up in her home, but when it comes to school she said, "I think that's crazy."

Not everyone thinks it is.

"I've always thought that it would be a good idea for the principal or whatever to have something like that,” said Raymond Walker, the parent of four students in the Spring ISD.

"I'd believe in it. I think so," said Tim Elliot, a retired school district employee and grandfather of a first and second grader.

That belief would not come without reservations and restrictions,” Elliot said. "Definitely be trained. Go through classes and I think they should be some kind of police officer training stuff like that."

The proposed bill does require additional training beyond the basic concealed handgun license requirements, and standards would have to be developed by the State Department of Education.

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