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Uvalde mass shooting reignites debate over armed teachers in school

It's called the Marshal Program, and some Southeast Texas school districts have already adopted new policies allowing employees to carry concealed handguns.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The Uvalde, Texas shooting reopened the debate over whether teachers should be armed. 28 states, including Texas, allow it but with restrictions.

Texas has seen eight mass shootings over the last decade, and many of them sparked debate about what legislation should be passed to prevent another one. After the Uvalde shooting, the focus now is whether teachers should be armed.

In 2015, Texas passed a law, which allows properly trained staff members to carry guns on campus.

It's called the Marshal Program, and some Southeast Texas school districts have already adopted new policies allowing employees to carry concealed handguns.

RELATED: Lawmakers pushing to allow concealed weapons in Texas public schools

RELATED: Lawmaker pushes to allow concealed weapons in Texas public schools

Some supported the decision as they do now.

“They have the time to get to these guns, and there are appropriate ways to protect the kids from them rather than just having them hide behind desks. They're sitting ducks at that point,” said mother Ashley Case.

In 2019, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that allowed for more teachers to be armed.

Southeast Texas mother Ashley Case, who is trained to carry a gun, feels her kids will be safer if teachers are trained carriers, too.

“If a shooter knows that there are unknown carriers, that's going to deter them because they're not going to know who to suspect,” Case said

Teachers and staff can carry a gun under a state-run school Marshal Program. It requires 80 hours of training.

School marshals can carry a concealed gun.

Under the Guardian Program, districts can pass their own policy authorizing certain individuals to carry guns in their buildings

“I think by and large teachers are in teaching to teach. They love children and they aren't necessarily psychologically wired to meet the threat head-on,” Dr. Aron Stephens said.

Stephens is a combat veteran and says there are other solutions instead of arming teachers.

“If you make schools that already exist and are taxpayer-funded and you shift police patrol bases and EMS personnel to patrol, that as a base for them you already have a large police presence there and that's going to deter I think a lot of threats,” Stephens said.

Some Southeast Texas teachers were also split. One told 12News that they'd be willing to risk their lives for their kids.

Another said it adds an extra level of stress.

Teachers are allowed to carry concealed handguns in school but whether or not that would prevent a mass shooting isn't proven.

Also on 12NewsNow.com...

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