Training in Session for Texas Educators to Become School Marshals

Training in Session for Texas Educators to Become School Marshals

It seems like yesterday that 20 students and 6 adults were gunned down inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. With this tragedy still ever-present in the minds of teachers, staff, students, parents and the whole country, schools across the United States have responded by updating security measures.

Some Texas school districts are taking security to a whole new level in response to a new state law that allows trained school staff members to carry guns on school campuses. On Monday, July 14, 2014, seven educators, from across the state of Texas, began to train to be the first armed school marshals in the state. These educators were chosen by their schools, passed a psychological evaluation, received their concealed handgun license and got the “stamp of approval” from the Texas Association of Law Enforcement before submitting an application to this training program.

Hosted by Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus, this “marshal school” taught by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, consists of an 80 hour curriculum focusing on gun use, violence prevention and active-shooter scenarios as well as hands-on training activities like going to a gun range and discussing recent school shooting tragedies to learn from past mistakes.

On the first day of training, educators spent their afternoon participating in timed exercises, testing their gun shooting ability at 3, 7 and 15 feet. Hitting the inner rings (emulating the center of a torso) of the target was the goal at each distance, earning the shooter 5 points. Hitting the next ring out would earn the shooter only 4 points, and so forth. To successfully complete this section of training, students had to earn at least 175 points.

Once the trainees, whose identities are being kept secret, known only to police and school officials for safety reasons, pass the training class, the marshals will have the same authority as a police officer with the ability to also make arrests. They will work as armed educators to help handle situations like an active shooter on campus, so decision-making skills are paramount.

A Few Notes

  • According to CBS DFW, most of the trainees are from smaller Texas school districts and Dallas ISD and Ft. Worth ISD said that they will not be participating.
  • Even though the identities are being kept secret, according to this Dallas News article, the writer said, “During the first day, the seven men…” so apparently all 7 trainees are male. (Probably not a good idea to release this detail to the public, just saying. And, I wonder why no female educators are being trained?)
  • Also mentioned in the Dallas News article, “Argyle ISD, in southwest Denton County, is among the first districts to approve having such marshals on campus.”

About the Author

Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.

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