Hays County

San Marcos CISD Implements the Marshall Program in August

todayJuly 1, 2023 31

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By Danielle De Lucia

News Reporter

The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District is implementing a school marshal program this upcoming school year. On April 17, board members voted six-one in favor of the program to have armed marshals at the district elementary schools. The schools included in this program will be Rodriquez, Mendez, Hernandez, DeZavala, Crockett, and Bowie Elementary.

Outside resources are helping to create a safe and protective environment for students and teachers. A training agreement has been made with San Marcos Police Department, Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training and Diaz Martial Arts. The District Administration and School Board have decided on monthly training to keep good practices in place. The training from SMPD and ALERRT is more tactical, and DMA teaches Haganah (Israeli self-defense tactics). An example of the training could be disarming someone with a gun.

Doug Wozniak, the director of Safety and Health Services for San Marcos CISD, orchestrates for SMPD, ALERRT and DMA to work closely together. The purpose is to make sure the training team is united on the same defense tactics. “Everyone is able to be on the same page so that we all know our part and are working the same way,” said Eddie Diaz, owner of DMA.

The application for the position was posted to the San Marcos CISD on June 14. The interviewing process has already started. Candidates must have education and specific certifications, as well as a range of tactical skills. The protocol is to hire all marshals individually in closed sessions.

The qualifications found on the San Marcos CISD careers website page: Firearms training 2x per month, 350 total rounds, official tactical training 2x per month, attending all active shooter training provided by the SMPD and School Marshal certification. Also, they must successfully pass a drug test to gain employment and will be subject to random drug testing throughout the year.

The marshal’s purpose is to be a certified trainer in standard response protocol, citizen’s response to active shooter events, threat assessment, incident commanders at the campus, write emergency operations plans, oversee drill management and help to relieve assistant principals of safety duties so they can focus on instructions.

Sources have been unable to give a statement on what the community thinks overall. This program gives the responsibility to marshals as opposed to arming teachers. “The overall goal is to make a safer community for the children and staff,” said Andrew Fernandez, Chief of Communications, San Marcos CISD.

The program is being enforced in response to the Uvalde shooting last May. Also, at the end of last month TX lawmakers passed HB3: making it a requirement to post an armed security officer at every public school. The marshal program follows the Wylie ISD model with Security Resource Officers (SROs). “This is an approach we are taking with support from SMPD and Hays County Law Enforcement,” said Fernandez.

The marshal program is how the community is working together to keep children protected in schools. This plan puts a regiment in place for elementary schools to be secured against intruders at all times. The solution places the authority on a certified marshal to protect from a life-threatening situation.

Written by: kadencemakenna

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