State Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed SB 1857, a bill empowering qualified Concealed Handgun License instructors to achieve an additional "school safety certification" that would then enable them to train teachers to, hopefully, save lives should an active-shooter scenario occur inside a Texas school.
This enhanced training is voluntary and only available to teachers who already have a CHL.
"This bill empowers courageous Texas teachers to voluntarily seek additional training to protect their students and colleagues from a deranged school shooter," Estes said. "It is my hope that this bill will prevent heinous acts of violence against our children and teachers."
Late last year, the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., prompted lawmakers to discuss ways to improve school safety in Texas. In January, the Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affair, amp; Homeland Security held a hearing to discuss how Texas might increase the safety of students and teachers in Texas public schools. As a result of that hearing, Estes filed the Texas School Safety Training Act to address deficiencies in current law that allows guns on campus.
Under the provisions of the act, teachers will receive training on the best practices for the protection of students, how to interact with first responders, tactics to deny an intruder entry into a classroom and accuracy with a handgun under duress.
"The No. 1 job of government is to protect the people, and the No. 1 place to do that job is in our schools. It is critical that students, teachers and staff feel safe in Texas schools," Estes said.