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First School Marshal Training Begins Monday

TARRANT CO. (CBSDFW) - The first class of teachers and school administrators seeking a school marshal license begin training Monday.

Twenty school staff members from undisclosed school districts will undergo 80 hours of law enforcement-type training.

Those who pass the course, under the new law, will be able have a concealed weapon on campus at the blessing of the school board.

The program limits districts to one armed school marshal for every 400 students.

The intense training includes active shooter drills, 700 rounds at the range, and a psychological evaluation – the same one all law enforcement members must pass.

State Rep. Jason Villalba, who authored the school marshal bill, said while only a hand-full of small rural districts will likely have school marshals in place by the beginning of the school year, he said more than 60 school districts have expressed interest in the program.

"I think in five years we will see most ISDs around the state of Texas utilize in some sort and fashion this program," he said. "Look, no one wants to envision a horrifying situation like we saw in Sandy Hook. But in the instance that someone goes into that school and they try to commit a crime against our children, at least this gives us a line of defense."

Dallas ISD Police Chief Craig Miller, who helped write the curriculum for the program, said it is intended for large school districts with police departments.

He said Dallas ISD will not participate in the program.

"It's not designed for Dallas or Fort Worth ISDs, "he said. "I don't believe in general it is a good idea to arm any teacher or educator. I think it should be police officers."

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