In 2013, the Texas Legislature passed SB 1857, entitled "The Texas School Safety Training Act." This bill established a process by which license to carry (LTC) instructors can provide a state certified training program for school districts and school employees who wish to have employees with LTCs carry handguns on campus.
I spent the last two days at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Tactical Training Center in Florence, Texas in the first official training class for LTC instructors to earn the certification to provide this training to school employees.
I attended this course (which is limited to twelve students at a time, more on that later) with a friend of mine and the only lady in the class - Tina Maldonado. She is a fellow LTC instructor and active participant in A Girl And a Gun Women's Shooting League. If you're looking for a good LTC instructor in Austin, I highly recommend her. (I don't consider good LTC instructors to be my competition. They are my colleagues.)
I realize many are skeptical about having teachers and administrators trained to carry gun in the classroom. Suffice it to say in rural Texas counties, law enforcement response times can be as much as 30 minutes or longer. And that's for the first law enforcement officer to arrive on scene. For schools in remote parts of the state, the teachers, administrators and students are the first responders for their school. They will have to fend for themselves, providing their own security and first aid until help arrives.
It's also important to note that a teacher is not allowed to carry on campus even after completing this training. Each school district can decide what level of training, if any, it wishes to impose on employees it permits to carry guns on campus. A school district could allow any LTC holder to carry...or it could allow no LTC holder to carry on the premises of its schools. This course is simply a training course that school districts may utilize as a way to qualify and prepare school employees to carry on campus.
A school employee wishing to get this certification must do more than sit through two days of classes. For example, they must:
DPS has requested instructors not speak in detail about the curriculum of the course. I can however tell you that it is based largely on the work of Texas State University's Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT)™ Program.
This training is not your typical LTC training. It is robust and is not for the average LTC holder. Students need to know how to manipulate their firearms well. They will be trained and encouraged to take on a leadership role during a self defense emergency to protect not only themselves but also their students.
Class size for both instructor training and for students taking the course for certification is limited to a student/teacher ratio of 6:1, with the maximum class size capped at 12. Students in this course are not able to simply coast through the classroom portion. They will be expected to demonstrate proficiency not only on the range but during in-class exercises as well.
My takeaways from the training:
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