Texas law allows teachers and school staff to be armed, but are districts opting in to it?

AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) – In the wake of the horrific mass shooting at Rob Elementary School that killed 19 children and two teachers, Texans and the rest of the country are looking for solutions to prevent something like this from happening. reproduces itself.

Nine years ago, after 20 first graders and six adults were fatally shot at an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Texas lawmakers created the School Marshal Program, giving educators a way to wear weapons inside schools. But only 84 school districts, out of more than 1,200 in Texas, have opted into the program.

Texas Tribune reporter Kate McGee said some lawmakers believe it’s because the program is unfunded.

“[Lawmakers say] the state hasn’t funded the School Marshal program and hasn’t provided funding for the schools to be able to do it so there’s just not enough money and understanding of the program that has really been widespread said McGee on First News at Four.

Under the School Marshal program, an employee, who can be a staff member, principal, or teacher, completes 80 hours of training and passes a psychological exam so they can have a weapon on campus with them. The state-regulated program also requires everyone to complete training every two years.

But, another program is used in a few more school districts in the state.

“The School Guardian program is not regulated by the state, it is regulated by school boards, and an individual school board can decide that they want someone on campus, whether it’s a staff member or not, can carry a gun on campus, and they can decide who it is,” McGee said.

This means that the school boards decide on the level of education of the people, which allows a little more flexibility. With approximately 280 campuses taking advantage of the tutor program, it is the more popular of the two.

Even arming teachers, there’s not much evidence it will prevent more school shootings, according to McGee.

“Some studies have been done on all kinds of school strengthening measures, in terms of strengthening the buildings themselves, but also arming the teachers. And the research found that schools that allowed teachers or staff members to carry guns on campus really showed no significant evidence of actually reducing gun violence,” McGee said.

The reporter says that most of the time these situations unfold quickly, and if the designated person isn’t close to what’s going on, it’s usually too late.

“In a lot of these situations, the damage is done and the tragedy happens so quickly that you really have to be in the right place at the right time to possibly be able to make a difference,” McGee said.

For the full interview, click on the video player above.

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