Wylie ISD to advise Washington D.C. officials on arming school employees

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Wylie ISD is one Texas school district chosen to meet with Governor Greg Abbott and federal officials in Washington D.C. as they discuss the possibility of arming school employees in an effort to prevent mass causality events. 

Assistant Superintendent Craig Bessent told KTAB he's just waiting for a phone call to hop on a plane to go give advise on Wylie ISD's successful implementation of the Texas School Marshals Program. 

Wylie was one of the first school districts to participate in the program when it was enacted under the Protection of Texas Children's Act, passed in 2013 after 20 elementary school children and 6 staff members lost their lives during a school shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. 

Under the Texas School Marshals Program, school districts are allowed to (at their discretion) train qualified employees to carry a weapon in order to protect students if an active shooter were to target their campus.

Bessent says these school marshals are anonymous, everyday employees who undergo the same kind of training and psychological evaluations as police and other law enforcement officers. They must get re-qualified every two years. 

This training prepares the employees to neutralize the threat as fast as possible in order to stop the killing and stop the dying. 

Under the revised Protection of Children's Act, campuses who adopt the Texas School Marshals Program are allowed to train 1 Marshal per 200 students or 1 Marshal per building.

Wylie ISD confirmed there are Marshals within the district, but did not disclose how many. The identities of the Marshals are kept secret to further promote student safety. 

Abilene ISD told KTAB they only have 1 Marshal for the entire district but are hoping to train more in the near future.

The school Marshals are in addition to School Resource Officers - Wylie ISD has 1 and Abilene ISD has 7 - that are actual police officers stationed at various campuses while in uniform.


Tonight on KTAB News at 10PM - Find out more about how Wylie ISD is getting national attention for being a pioneer district in the Texas School Marshals program.  


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