SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Monday evening, San Marcos CISD’s school board discussed the possibility of a school marshal program, according to the school board agenda.
Back in 2013, Texas lawmakers created the school marshal program. It was in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s School Marshal Program is a licensing program that allows school employees to carry a firearm on school campus.
As of July 2022, there are 256 marshals in the state in 62 districts.
San Marcos CISD School Board President Clementine Cantu said she’s heard of instances where the program has been successful.
“This program is working in other places,” Clementine said. “I’ve heard that it works very well in some of our rural schools, because they don’t have police officers that can get there in five to six minutes or six to seven minutes.”
Cantu said still, she understands why some are against it.
“Some people have issues with guns in the schools. As a board member, we have to take all of that into consideration when we make our decision,” Cantu said.
Cantu said she sees the value in adding other programs to address mental health as well.
“There’s less conflict, there’s less anger, there’s less possibility that the students would get angry, leave the school and then come back with a gun or a knife,” Cantu said.
How do parents and community members feel?
San Marcos CISD parent Moneta Rios is pushing back on this proposal.
“I don’t think this makes our schools more secure. I really think they need to look at other solutions than just this,” Rios said.
Melissa Millecam lives in San Marcos. She agreed that this poses too many concerns.
“Where are they going to put the gun? Teachers are vulnerable. The students are vulnerable,” Millecam said.
Rios said she’d like to see more school resource officers because as it stands, they have SRO’s stationed at all of their campuses except the elementary schools.
“I really think we need more SROs get them in all the schools. That would probably help a lot,” Rios said.
What are the requirements for a marshal officer?
Any employee of a school district can become a marshal officer. Requirements include:
- Complete the school-based law enforcement course #4064
- Complete the active shooter response for school-based law enforcement course #2195
- Obtain a school-based law enforcement proficiency certificate from Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE)
- Have a current license to carry
- Approval by a governing body
- Pass a psychological exam
- Complete the 80-hour school marshal course
- Submit school marshal appointment form and fee
- Complete 16-hour renewal course every two years
Cantu said Monday night was just the beginning of a conversation and nothing will be decided just yet.