School Marshal Program and How It Can Help
“School marshals,” whose identities are kept confidential, are school employees with special training who may exercise the authority given to peace officers, including making arrests, subject to regulations adopted by the school board or charter school governing authority. They may act only as necessary to prevent or abate an offense that threatens serious bodily injury or death to persons on school premises. The school board can appoint no more than the greater of one marshal per 200 students per campus or one marshal per instructional building at a campus.
The marshal may carry a handgun on school premises under certain regulations. If the marshal’s primary duty involves regular contact with students, the marshal may not carry the weapon but may keep it in a locked and secured safe within reach. The gun may be loaded only with “frangible” ammunition that disintegrates on impact. The gun may be accessed only under circumstances justifying the use of deadly force. The Commission on Law Enforcement operates a training program available to any school employee who holds a concealed handgun license, and administers a psychological exam to determine fitness to carry out the duties of a school marshal.
Schools across several states have already seen success. Texas schools are now drastically increasing the amount of state schools that are participating, even going as far as passing legislation to allow state funded school employee’s to carry a firearm if he or she is a qualified school marshal.
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