As we reported earlier, newly elected state Representative Jason Villalba announced his intention to file legislation allowing Texas school districts to arm trained faculty and staff members. "School marshals," I think he calls them.
In case you were wondering whether we might see ol' Coach prowling the halls of a DISD campus with a Glock tucked into his sweats, the answer, a district spokesman assures us, is emphatically no. DISD has its own police department. "Not all school districts in the state of Texas, in fact, the majority of Texas school districts do not," DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander told us. "Because we have our own police department, we've got officers who are trained and licensed to carry a weapon."
That is isn't to say DISD has an officer on every campus. They do not. "We could conceivably put armed officers in every school. The difficulty of course is the cost," he added. School districts have seen their budgets slashed by the state Legislature, but whether DISD should have a gun on every campus is something worth discussing, now that school safety is on our minds.
"We just don't have enough officers to place one in every campus right now," Dahlander said. "So that's something we're going to need to talk about."
Update: DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander sends along this final thought: "There will likely be a number of different ideas designed to keep students and staff safe proposed by lawmakers and policymakers in the days and weeks ahead. Each of these ideas will need to be studied and discussed in a balanced and measured way. That said, it would be inappropriate for Dallas ISD to weigh in on each piece of legislation introduced until there is time to thoroughly review all of the possible consequences."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.