TX: Legislative Hearing on School Safety, Marshals, Guardians

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ELB
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TX: Legislative Hearing on School Safety, Marshals, Guardians

#1

Post by ELB » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:50 pm

I had no idea this was happening, but:

During school safety hearing, Texas lawmakers express support for arming faculty and staff — maybe even with rifles
Following Gov. Greg Abbott's recommendations on school gun safety, members of a Senate committee on school violence debated the efficacy of expanding programs that already arm faculty and school staff.

It's a longish article, go read it, I'm not going to summarize it but a couple points come to mind.

The first half of the article concerns discussion on the "Marshal Plan," and it seems that it was discussed a lot in the committee hearing.

To me, the Marshal Plan is a dud. It is too restrictive on the number of people who can be armed (one per 400 students), and it is too restrictive on the individual who is armed, i.e. his handgun has to stay locked up.

To my knowledge, only one school district has actually adopted the Marshal Plan -- the other 170+ districts that have gone with armed staff have adopted the Guardian Plan because of the Marshal Plan limitations.

So when discussion swung to the Guardian Plan, this series of comments concerned me:
The lack of oversight for the guardian plan was a point of concern for committee members and Kim Vickers, executive director of Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Vickers, a 38-year law enforcement veteran, said schools are not required to alert local police that they are participating in the program, which opens the risk of friendly fire during a school shooting.

“I’m built on training and preparation,” Vickers said. “And the idea of putting somebody into a setting with our kids and having a gun without preparing them is not fair for any party.”

Whitmire asked the committee to examine how the program deals with local police.
The "lack of oversight" is why the Guardian Plan works and the Marshal one doesn't. Every school policy that I have read the implements the Guardian Plan makes a point of coordinating with the local police -- frankly, Vickers' (exec director of TCOLE) comments sound like bureaucratic turf gathering. The homegrown guardian plans all seem to include psychological testing, completion of the state course for armed staff, training, etc.

Most all of the districts that have adopted the Guardian Plan are smaller outfits whose budgets can't afford hiring deputies but are too far away from the Sheriff's office to rely on the sheriff's response time. They take the resources out of hide to arm a few of the teachers and administrators, and I suspect are quite dedicated about it.

Going just from the article, it seems that the only school district to testify at the hearing was one of the few who has adopted the school marshal program -- there are not quotes from any of the districts that use the guardian program. That, and the fact that this hearing was generated by the Governor's action plan on school safety makes me wonder if there is now a push afoot to "corral" all those schools and make them submit to state-level requirements and management -- that is, to create new and more bureaucracy.

As well, it appears from the article that the only "public" members in the audience to testify or comment were antis. I am suspecting that this hearing was publicized through school channels like the education organizations, which are largely anti-2A, and not through other channels, such as the TSRA. At least I didn't see any emails about it.

This is only one article, and I may not have all the info here, but I would hate to see a noble effort, such as protecting schools through the grass-roots level efforts of the guardian programs, subverted and made ineffective through the imposition of an "oversight" bureaucracy.
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Re: TX: Legislative Hearing on School Safety, Marshals, Guardians

#2

Post by ELB » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm

The Lieutenant Governor issued this on June 1:

https://www.ltgov.state.tx.us/2018/06/0 ... -security/

June 1, 2018

AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement today upon announcing interim charges to the Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security:

“On Wednesday I asked Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, to chair the Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security, to address the many factors that contribute to school violence. Today, I am providing the select committee with the interim charges we’ve been asked to consider by Gov. Greg Abbott as well as additional charges I want them to study. I know Sen. Taylor and the select committee are ready to get to work on this critically important task immediately. I have asked for their full report by the first week of August.”

The interim charges are as follows:
•Improve the infrastructure and design of Texas schools to reduce security threats, and discuss various proposals to harden school facilities, including limiting access points, improving screening and detecting of weapons, retrofitting school facilities with improved locks, emergency alarm systems, and monitoring cameras.
•Study school security options and resources, including, but not limited to, the school marshal program, school police officers, armed school personnel, the Texas School Safety Center, and other training programs to determine what improvements can be made to provide school districts and charter schools with more robust security options.
•Examine the root cause of mass murder in schools including, but not limited to, risk factors such as mental health, substance use disorders, anger management, social isolation, the impact of high intensity media coverage — the so-called “glorification” of school shooters — to determine the effect on copy cat shootings, and the desensitization to violence resulting from video games, music, film, and social media. Recommend strategies to early identify and intercept high-risk students, as well as strategies to promote healthy school culture, including character education and community support initiatives.
•Examine whether current protective order laws are sufficient or whether the merits of Extreme Risk Protective Orders, or “Red Flag” laws, should be considered for seeking a temporary removal of firearms from a person who poses an immediate danger to themselves or others, only after legal due process is provided with a burden of proof sufficient to protect Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

Along with Sen. Taylor, Lt. Gov. Patrick appointed Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, as vice chair of the committee. Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, will serve as members of the committee.
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Re: TX: Legislative Hearing on School Safety, Marshals, Guardians

#3

Post by AndyC » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:33 pm

This is going to be a screw-up
Remember Kitty Genovese

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Re: TX: Legislative Hearing on School Safety, Marshals, Guardians

#4

Post by Allons » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:36 pm

AndyC wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:33 pm
This is going to be a screw-up
C' mon have a little faith. :biggrinjester:
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