In the wake of last Friday's horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, many Americans are asking how such a traumatic ordeal could have been avoided. Texas state representative-elect Jason Villalba believes that armed faculty members will make the schools safer, and he will file legislation in the Lone Star State to allow designated teachers to be armed.
Villalba was elected to House District 114 in November. With two daughters in the Dallas Independent School District, he is particularly interested in school safety.
His Protection of Texas Children Act would allow schools to designate members of their faculty as “school marshals” — one armed individual for every 400 students. In a statement, Villalba explained that the marshals could “use lethal force upon the occurrence of an attack in the classroom or elsewhere on campus.” These designated individuals would be existing faculty members with concealed handgun licenses, who would provide their own firearms and undergo additional firearms training. Villalba’s bill states that only the principal, law enforcement, and district administrators would know the identity of the school marshals.
A press release for the legislation explains:
The Protection of Texas Children Act would provide for an exception to the restrictions on firearms on the premises of Texas public schools and set forth a systematic training regimen, developed in conjunction with law enforcement officials and the Department of Public Safety, for those who would serve as civilian school marshals. Training would be offered by either private licensees (similar to the entities that provide CHL [Concealed Handgun License] training) or by licensed law enforcement officers. The fees and expenses associated with training the school marshal will be paid by the marshal applicant or, at its option, by the ISD [Independent School District]. Funding for training would not be required to be paid by the state. School marshals will be required to maintain and carry school marshal certification at all times that such marshal is serving in such capacity.
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