Rep. Jason Villalba Files Bill To Create Armed "School Marshals" [Updated]

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Villalba

Back in December, freshman state representative Jason Villalba, who hails from North Dallas, got a lot of attention for his plan to file a bill allowing Texas school teachers to carry guns. The bill, which he's calling the Protection of Texas Children Act, would allow certain school district employees to become designated as "marshals" and carry weapons.

But Villalba soon told us that some aspects of the proposed bill had been misconstrued. "Now I've become the face of teacher-carry," he said at the time. He stressed that any potential school district employees interested in becoming marshals would have to undergo a background check, a mental health evaluation, and weapons training. Teachers, or anyone else who spends a lot of time around children, would need to keep their guns locked up, while administrators could carry them on their person.

This morning, Villalba finally filed the bill, HB 1009. The bill text isn't online yet, but in an interview with the Texas Tribune, Villalba said the main purpose of the plan "is to reduce response times from minutes down to seconds" during an "active shooter" situation.

The bill summary reads, in full:

Relating to the creation of a new category of law enforcement officer who shall be designated a school marshal, the training and appointment of certain employees of a school district or open-enrollment charter school as school marshals, and the rights, restrictions, limitations, and responsibilities of school marshals; authorizing the imposition of a fee.

Villalba told the Tribune that the school marshal position would require a mental health evaluation, as well as "active shooter and emergency situation training" and firearms proficiency, totaling about 80 hours of classwork and "simulations." There would be one armed marshal for every 400 students, and they would be "unidentifiable" except by the school principal, administrators, and law enforcement. Marshals would buy their own weapons, and school districts could choose to provide funding for the training.

Update, 4:50 p.m.: The full text of the bill is now available here (opens as a PDF). Looks like school marshals would be empowered to make arrests, but not to give out traffic citations. They also wouldn't get the same state benefits a cop gets.

Marshals who have "regular, direct contact" with students would be required to keep their weapons in a secure, locked location, while the administrators allowed to carry the weapons on their person would need to keep them loaded only with "frangible
ammunition designed to disintegrate on impact for maximum safety and minimal danger to others." The gun could only be accessed under "circumstances that would justify the use of deadly force."

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18 comments
titusgroan
titusgroan

And school marshal's gun stolen/kid accidentally killed in 3...2....1....

EdD.
EdD.

Unidentifiable? It's a school, not an airplane, where all the employees should be busy doing something during the day, so the armed guy in the suit wandering the halls is either the marshal, somebody the marshal should be stopping, or the character John Reese from "Person of Interest".

observist
observist topcommenter

It makes far more sense to have a "faculty gun" kept in a safe location and certain faculty members trained/licensed to use it than it does to hire armed guards for every school.   The latter would be like having a full-time dedicated fireman on staff instead of having fire extinguishers.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Now when teachers molest their students they can do so at gunpoint.... [snark, snark]

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

A couple of nuns armed with erasers should do the trick.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

trying to picture Miss Appleseed, our 82 year old english teacher, packing heat.

don.glover
don.glover

Stolen how? "Hey Teach, gimme your gun or I'll stab you with my pencil?"  Yeah, you're right, it's better to leave the kids with no protection whatsoever.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@titusgroan  We do have this fellow .Stolen, found ?..

 %s

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

@EdD. The idea is that certain school employees would be marshals, but nobody but the principal, administrators, and law enforcement would know who they are. I could've made that much clearer.  

FEDUP
FEDUP

@observist Man walks in you as a teacher points a weapon at your head. Now what do you do. TOO LATE YOUR DEAD HE ALREADY PULLED THE TRIGGER, so much for a weapon locked up in a 'safe' place. SHIT FER-BRAINS.

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

@ChrisYu That's really weird, because I instantly thought of Ms. Suggs, the 100-year-old substitute we had sometimes.  I guess everybody's mind just goes there? 

FEDUP
FEDUP

@observist OH, wait a minute. You think the nut with the gun walks into a school is going to wait till you as a teacher can go down the hall and retrieve the "faculty gun"locked up in 'safe location'. PROVIDED you can find the one responsible for the careing of the key, and after telling them what is going on. Their hand shakes so bad the can't get the key into the lock, again; provided they themselves don't flee for their lives while the shit is killing students. RIGHT??? MORON!

EdD.
EdD.

@Anna_Merlan Thanks for the clarification. And, no, there aren't air marshals on every flight but the bad guys (theoretically) can't know which flights have 'em and which don't so it's a deterrent effect.

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

@titusgroan @Anna_Merlan @EdD. Definitely didn't take it as negative criticism. Just wanted to make sure we all get that these are regular school employees who'd now have access to guns, rather than armed security guards hired to patrol the halls or something. 

Apparently there aren't actually air marshals on every flight? And the airline to Singapore has a special cupboard for bodies? 

I don't know why I included that last part. Just think it's fascinating. 

don.glover
don.glover

Oh wait, you gotta sign out the gun first!!! The suggestion is in the article, ARM THE TEACHERS dumbass!

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