North Texas teachers will be armed by the fall

DALLAS (NBC/KXAS) — Come fall, some teachers and administrators in North Texas schools will be armed.

Training has already started for armed school marshals.

It’s the first program of its kind under a new Texas law.

The marshals could be a teacher, coach or anyone who works in the school.

“A regular patrolman, if you will, is going to take three- to five minutes — on the average three minutes — for them to respond to a call of an active shooter event,” said Rafael Perea, Tarrant County College Police Academy instructor. “This is going to try to mitigate that.”

This was all set in motion by Rep. Jason Vialba. It’s a personal story for him.

He dropped off his young children at school before hearing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

He began creating what is now known as the Protection of Texas Children Act, marshals as the first line of defense.

“Just because they are carrying a weapon does not mean they can suppress other crimes, like two kids fighting or anything like that,” said Perea. “That is not the intent of this law; that is not the intent of this training. The intent of this training is to make sure they are professional, carrying a weapon on school grounds.”

The marshals volunteer for the job and are chosen by the districts. They must already have a Concealed Handgun License, and they train on the range and in the classroom and learn about the use of force.

“The thing I want them to walk away with is to understand the concept of use of force — understand when to use that weapon if they need to use it,” said Perea. “Hopefully, they’ll never have to use it.”

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