In 2021, there have been 28 school shootings across the United States resulting in injury or death. Back in February, we published a blog about how facilities can benefit from security guards who can monitor who comes in and out of your school, as well as odd behavior. In the state of Texas, there are several options for public school districts in employing security personnel, which should be considered with regard to the district’s overall security plan according to the Texas Association of School Boards.
School Resource Officer. A commissioned peace officer can be contracted within a school district on a full-time or part-time basis through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a government agency.
School district peace officers. School districts can also create their own police department of commissioned peace officers, who must meet all minimum standards as established by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Peace officers performing the function of School District Peace Officer or School Resource Officer in School Districts with a student enrollment of 30,000, or more, must complete the School-Based Law Enforcement Training (4064) within 120 days of assignment (Rule 218.3(d)), according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
Security personnel. If a school district employs an individual as security personnel, the individual must be a commissioned peace officer in order for the school district to authorize the individual to carry a weapon. Tex. Educ. Code § 37.081(a).
Security company. A school district should consult with its school attorney if considering the option of employing an outside security firm since state law does not directly address whether the company’s employees may be authorized to carry firearms on school premises.
School marshals. The Protection of Texas Children Act allows the board of trustees of a school district or the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school to appoint one or more school marshals for each campus.. Tex. Educ. Code § 37.0811. The marshal must have the appropriate licensing and certification by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 2.127(d). A school marshal may carry a handgun on school premises, but only as specified by the board.
Designation of school employees authorized to carry firearms. School districts can grant written permission for anyone, including designated employees, to carry firearms on campus under the authority of the federal GFSA and the Texas Penal Code. 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(B)(v); Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a)(1). An individual authorized by the district in writing to carry a firearm on school premises is not carrying the firearm pursuant to his or her handgun license, but rather pursuant to the written authority granted under Section 46.03. Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. GA-1051 (2014).
For more information on hiring security guards for your facility, email us for your free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Vanguard Resources at 1-800-211-8848.
*Information from this article was found from the Texas Association of School Boards, https://www.tasb.org/services/legal-services/tasb-school-law-esource/business/documents/sch_marshals_and_other_personnel_carrying_firearms.aspx