Today, the Texas House Public Education Committee heard a series of bills that would increase the number of guns in schools by expanding Texas school marshal program which allows schools to arm teachers and school staff. Volunteers with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America from across the state attended the hearing and testified in opposition to several bills, including the following:
In opposition to HB 1106, which would expand the number of school marshals a school can appoint, Elva Mendoza said:
“[HB 1106] relies on a flawed assumption that teachers can turn into trained law enforcement professionals and make split-second decisions during an active shooter incident that all evidence shows is unrealistic.”
In opposition to HB 1754, which would provide funding that can be used to help employ school marshals, Molly Bursey said:
“We should not be diverting funding from proven, expert-backed solutions to solutions that all evidence suggests is dangerous and introduces new risks into our schools.”
In opposition to HB 1387, which would expand the number of school marshals a school can appoint, Shandelle Girdley said:
“School safety experts—including school resource officers and law enforcement organizations—oppose arming teachers.”
The Austin American-Statesman opposed expanding the marshal program in a recent editorial.
Texas’ School Marshal Program allows teachers and other school staff to be armed, despite the fact that there is no evidence indicating that arming teachers makes schools safer. In fact, research shows that the presence of a gun increases the risk posed to children and complicates any law enforcement response to active shooter situations.
More information on the risk of arming teachers is available here.