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School Marshal Training Begins in North Texas

Updated: Monday, July 14 2014, 03:57 PM CDT

Preventing another Sandy Hook; that's what State Representative Jason Villalba of Dallas had in mind when he authored a law that would allow trained school staff members to carry guns on campus. Now it's time to put that plan in action, with 20 potential marshals going through the first-ever school marshal training program starting Monday. "These people are going to be trained as good as they can be trained.  It's going to be a licensed process," says Dallas ISD Chief Craig Miller.

Chief Miller helped design the curriculum for the school marshal program. He says it will be 80 hours of law enforcement-type training, including active shooter drills, and more than 700 rounds at a shooting range.

But what may come as a surprise is Chief Miller doesn't necessary think this is a great idea. "I don't believe in general it is a good idea to arm any teacher or educator.  I think it should be police officers," he says.

But now that it's law, Chief Miller wants to make sure whoever is armed is properly trained. So far 60 Texas school districts have expressed interest in the program, including San Marcos Consolidated ISD. They're mostly small, rural districts that don't have a school police force. Miller says that's who the program is designed for. "It's not designed for Dallas or Houston or Fort Worth or Austin or San Antonio," says Chief Miller.

Rep. Villalba disagrees. He says today will be the start of a program that someday every district will be a part of. "I think in a five years' time I think we will see most ISDs around the state of Texas utilize, in some sort and fashion, this program," says Villalba.

A key element to this program is that the identities of the marshals remain unknown. Because of that, the state is not releasing the names of those taking part in the training, nor what school district they belong to. But we do know most of the larger school districts in Texas have not signed up, at least not yet.

School Marshal Training Begins in North Texas


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