AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following response after the Texas Senate Education Committee voted to advance HB 1387, which would allow an unlimited number of teachers and staff across the state to be armed in schools. Moms Demand Action volunteers testified against the bill.
“While our lawmakers have debated this bill this session, guns have been mishandled by authorized staff in schools across the country — including in Texas,” said Hilary Whitfield, volunteer leader with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Lawmakers must stop ignoring the risks of putting more guns in schools and stop this bill from moving any further.”
This is one of many bills the legislature is considering that would expand the School Marshal Program, which allows teachers and other school staff to be armed, despite the fact that there is no evidence indicating that arming teachers makes schools safer.
Guns in schools are often mishandled and unintentionally discharged, even when they are carried by trained law enforcement. Last month in Texas, a police officer assigned to a high school in Mesquite unintentionally discharged his gun at school. In Milwaukee, a 10-year-old student was grazed by a bullet after a gun brought to school by an employee discharged. And in St. Paul, Minnesota, a student found a gun in a bathroom that an employee had left unattended.
Classroom teachers and school staff carrying guns in schools would also complicate law enforcement response to active shooter situations. Southlake Police Chief James Brandon called putting guns in the hands of teachers a “nightmare situation,” citing the fact that even the best police officers see their accuracy decrease when trying to fight an armed suspect.
Many parents and education experts fear that increasing the number of guns in schools will make Black and brown students — who are already disciplined at a disproportionate rate compared to their white peers — fear for their safety.
Volunteers with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action have driven thousands of calls and digital messages to lawmakers urging them to side with public safety and reject bills that would expand the School Marshal Program.