I will teach classes of three to six students at $75 per student. The course includes 16 hours of classroom instruction, practical exercises, shooting proficiency, and written examinations.
The shooting portion of the instruction will be at a local shooting range. It would be more instructive to schedule the classroom instruction and practical exercises at the student's school, at a time when no school students or faculty are present, but I can teach the whole class at the range.
The overall objective of this course is to educate students on the responsibilities related to school safety who are employees of a school district or open-enrollment charter school who hold a license to carry a handgun. Outlined objectives are:
- Protection of students;
- Interaction of license holders with first responders;
- Tactics for denying an intruder entry into a classroom or school facility;
- Methods for increasing a license holders’ accuracy with a handgun while under duress.
These topics are not separated into four independent sections or modules. They are covered throughout the curriculum. I will always place an emphasis on safety.
Depending on the facilities used and travel time, a typical class schedule will be:
|8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.||Welcome, introductions|
|8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.||Written Pre-test|
|9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.||Range - Proficiency Pre-test - 50 rounds|
|11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.||Classroom - Description of Course|
|1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.||Classroom - The Active Shooter Event|
|3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.||Classroom - Human Response|
|4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.||Classroom - Avoid|
|8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.||Classroom - Deny|
|10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.||Classroom - Defend|
|12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.||Classroom - Interaction with First Responders|
|1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.||Lunch Break|
|3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.||Range - Shooting Under Duress - 120 rounds|
|4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.||Final written exam|
DPS Training Requirements
Quoting from Texas Government Code 411.1901, the course must provide training in:
- the protection of students;
- interaction of license holders with first responders;
- tactics for denying an intruder entry into a classroom or school facility; and
- methods for increasing a license holder's accuracy with a handgun while under duress.
The school safety certification course must include not less than 15 hours and not more than 20 hours of instruction.
A qualified handgun instructor certified in school safety may provide school safety training, including instruction in the subjects listed, to employees of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school who hold a license to carry a handgun.
DPS rules limit the class size to six students per instructor, further limited to 12 students with two instructors.
Certification and Authorization
According to Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.03, Places Weapons Prohibited: (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon: (1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless: (A) pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution.
Therefore, it isn't the School Safety Certification that authorizes graduates to carry firearms on campus. That authority comes directly from the school district, either in the form of written authorization of the individual graduate or by a written policy spelling out which employees may do what.
That puts the decisions about arming employees in the hands of each school board, consulting with local law enforcement, where it should be. Nothing about Texas schools is one-size-fits-all, even here in Kerr County. I'm offering this training, not pushing it.
School Safety Class History
The 83rd Texas Legislature, in 2013, was the first one after Sandy Hook. It weighed in with 20 school-related firearm bills proposed, six of them having to do with school faculty carrying firearms. Of those, two passed. The simplest one was Senate Bill 1857, which instructed DPS to establish a School Safety Certification for existing qualified handgun instructors, authorizing them to provide a 15- to 20-hour training course to employees of a school district or open-enrollment charter school, who have a license to carry.
The bill was signed by Governor Perry on June 14, to be effective Sept. 1, 2013. Pilot school safety instructor classes were held by DPS in 2016, and the first regular instructor class was held January 25-26, 2018. I took the class February 1-2, 2018.
The curriculum is fashioned from "Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training," designed "to provide the best research-based active shooter response training in the nation." The course teaches ADD; Avoid, Deny, Defend. First try to avoid a killer in the school, if that's not possible actively try to deny the killer access to victims, and as a last resort defend innocent people from the killer.
Note that the training is for "employees." This goes beyond "teacher carry." I encourage thinking outside that box, from the superintendent to the custodian.