Bill That Would Train Texas Teachers as Marshals Sent to Gov. Rick Perry's Desk

| by Dabney Bailey
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Texas legislators have sent a bill to Governor Rick Perry’s desk that would allow the state to train public school teachers as “armed marshals.”

Considering the bill’s overwhelming popularity so far, there’s a good chance that the bill will earn Gov. Perry’s seal of approval. The bill breezed through the Texas house with a bipartisan 28-3 vote. The bill also had the support of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), who persuaded lawmakers to help teachers arm themselves in the wake of the Newtown shooting tragedy.

Some smaller school districts, which didn’t have the extra cash to hire security guards or additional police officers, took up Dewhurst’s banner and similarly argued in favor of arming teachers.

Legislators listened, drafting a bill that would allow teachers to receive specialized training. After 80 hours of training, teachers would be able to keep a gun in a nearby lockbox during school hours. The bill would also hide these teachers’ names from public record so that they wouldn't be targeted during an active shooter event.  

The bill would limit the number of trained marshal teachers to one marshal for every 400 students -- not nearly enough to keep a gun in every classroom. Under this ratio, many schools could keep less than a dozen guns.

Opponents of the bill have argued that guns simply have no place in schools, especially with mischievous children who regularly steal items (including lockbox keys) from their teachers. Other opponents state that school security is not the responsibility of educators. Legislators should pull together funds to hire security personnel if necessary.

Law enforcement experts have also warned that teachers with guns are at risk of being shot by police during an active shooter event.

If Gov. Perry signs off on the bill, this would be the biggest guns-in-schools law in the country. What’s your take on the bill? Will it help keep students safe, or is it just a disaster waiting to happen?

Source: CBS Houston