Teacher Marshals - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Teacher Marshals

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It's the horrific scenes from the Newtown shooting in Connecticut that prompted action from State Representative Jason Villalba out of Dallas.

"We've created a new class of law enforcement officers here in Texas to protect our kids in a moment of crisis," said Villalba.

That's through legislation that would allow school districts without School Resource Officers on their campuses to designate current employees like administrators or teachers to also double as school marshals.

"We're going to give them deep psychological profiles, training in areas of firearms, legal and emergency situations and we are going to make sure they can protect our kids in that moment," he said.

The bill which is headed to the Governor's desk would require marshals to also undergo 80 hours of firearm training, even though the guns, Villalba says would not be on the Marshal's themselves.

"Any firearm would be under lock and key but with immediate reach of the marshal," said Villalba. But not everyone agrees teachers should be armed.

"We still oppose having weapons on a campus unless it's a commissioned police officer," said Gale Fallon. She is the President of the Houston Federation of Teachers.

Although a gun owner herself, she says the thought of having a weapon in a classroom full of curious children is a scary one.

"Our classrooms aren't set up where there is a secure place to keep a weapon so if that teacher is teaching where is the gun?" asked Fallon.

But Villalba says the goal is to have a person who is already on campus in case of an active shooter situation when seconds could mean the difference between life and death.

The bill has already passed the House and Senate. It must now go to the Governor's Office before it is signed into a law.

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