Marshals in Public Schools?

by Mathew Baughman*


Beginning September 1, 2013, a new bill titled “The Protection of Texas Children Act” went into effect. This bill gives public schools the option to appoint a school marshal(s). There cannot be more than one marshal per 400 students.

The marshal:

  • Must be appointed by the board of trustees of a school district or the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school;
  • Must undergo 80 hours of training designed to:
    • emphasize strategies for preventing school shootings and for securing the safety of potential victims of school shootings;
    • educate a trainee about legal issues relating to  the duties of peace officers and the use of force or deadly force in the protection of others;
    • introduce the trainee to effective law enforcement strategies and techniques;
    • improve the trainee’s proficiency with a handgun;
    • and enable the trainee to respond to an emergency  situation requiring deadly force, such as a situation involving an active shooter.
    • Must pass a psych evaluation;
    • Will not have their identity known to students; and
    • May access a handgun only under circumstances that would justify the use of deadly force under Tex. Penal Code Ann. S 9.32 or 9.33 (West 2012).


Do you think public schools will be safer with school marshals? Let us know on our blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

Remember, if you have questions about any legal issue, schedule a confidential meeting with our attorney at 936.294.1717 or at

SLMS points Bearkats in the right direction.

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