SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Monday night, the San Marcos CISD school board approved to begin the process of implementing a school marshal program for the district.

At the meeting, several parents and community members spoke out against the idea.

“We can do better than just more guns,” said one SMCISD parent.

What is the school marshal program?

It’s a licensing program under the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement that allows school employees to carry a gun on campus.

The marshal must fulfill certain requirements like have a current license to carry, pass a psychological exam and complete the 80-hour school marshal training.

People expressed concerns about potentially arming teachers, but San Marcos CISD School Board President Clementine Cantu said they wouldn’t do that.

“Thinking about retired law officers or retired military that they could come and be the marshals,” Cantu said.

She said according to a survey, a majority of the SMCISD parents who responded, supported the plan.

“They thought it was a good idea, because you have a respondent a first responder in the school, that would be able to address it in minutes, as opposed to waiting for somebody to get there,” Cantu said.

Cantu said they have school resource officers stationed at all of their campuses, expect the elementary schools. This program would specifically put marshals there dedicated to those campuses.

Still, speakers suggested the board look at other ways to increase school safety.

“Having designated school resource officers at every campus, increasing the amount of counselors at each campus and adding funding towards mental health initiatives are our turn our alternatives to these programs that I believe the board should consider,” one San Marcos resident said.

San Marcos Police Chief Stan Standrige spoke in support of the program.

He said the marshal would do things like conduct audits and reviews of security protocols, check exterior doors on a weekly basis and serve as point of conduct for all security matters at their assigned campus.