Education
6:15 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Representative Villalba Wants Armed "Marshals" In Schools

Incoming North Dallas Representative Jason Villalba wants school teachers or staff to carry handguns as a “last line of defense.” But  opponents think that’s a bad idea.

Villalba acknowledges some parents and teachers worry about any gun on a school campus.  But the newly elected Republican wants people to know his proposal would demand special training for the teacher who carries the gun.

“These are essentially certified and trained law enforcement officers on par with an air marshal or a deputized officer in an unincorporated city or something like that. This would be a situation where it’s a school teacher, a gym teacher,  someone who is already on campus who’s gone through this training and is the last line of defense in the protection of our children in an active shooter scenario."

Rena Honea, President of the largest Dallas teachers organization, Alliance/AFT, dislikes Villalba’s plan.

"I think it would be a more common sense approach to fund our human and health services to get care of the mentally ill that we seem to be having these issues with."

Honea says she only feels secure if the person on campus with a gun is a full-time law enforcement officer. She says schools get robbed, and a gun could get stolen or be found by a student. Villalba says he understands such worries, but envisions a trained, gun-carrying teacher using deadly force only in a “break glass in case of emergency” scenario.

Despite a weapons ban at most Texas schools, districts can seek a waiver that let’s employees carry concealed, licensed guns.