The following was included in TCTA's 2019-20 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2019 but is subject to change.

School marshals

“School marshals,” whose identities are kept confidential, are school employees with special training who may exercise the authority given to peace officers, including making arrests, subject to regulations adopted by the school board or charter school governing authority. They may act only as necessary to prevent or abate an offense that threatens serious bodily injury or death to persons on school premises. Marshals must be appointed by a school district’s board of trustees or the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school, but as of the 2019 legislative session there is no longer a limit on the number of school marshals per student.

The marshal may carry a handgun on school premises under certain regulations. If the marshal’s primary duty involves regular contact with students, the marshal may not carry the weapon but may keep it in a locked and secured safe within reach. The gun may be loaded only with “frangible” ammunition that disintegrates on impact. The gun may be accessed only under circumstances justifying the use of deadly force. The Commission on Law Enforcement operates a training program available to any school employee who holds a concealed handgun license, and administers a psychological exam to determine fitness to carry out the duties of a school marshal. This program was expanded by the legislature in 2019.

Citations and graduated sanctions

A school district peace officer, law enforcement officer or school resource officer may not issue a citation to a child who is alleged to have committed a school offense (an offense committed by a child enrolled in a public school on property under the control and jurisdiction of a school district) that is a class C misdemeanor, other than a traffic offense. However, the school may file a complaint against the child with a criminal court if the district has developed a system of graduated sanctions that the child has failed to comply with or complete, or if the school district has not elected to adopt a system of graduated sanctions.

See also:

Classroom Discipline

Corporal Punishment and Use of Force

Student Discipline and Violence

Student Conduct: Required Notice to Educators