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State lawmakers propose "School Marshals" program

By Joe Buttitta, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Anchor/Reporter, jbuttitta@keyt.com
Published On: Jan 31 2013 09:07:44 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 31 2013 09:31:40 PM CST

Republican legislators propose a bill that would allow school districts to have armed school marshals.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) is calling for a "School Marshal" program.

Modeled after federal air marshals who guard against terrorism, Donnelly's proposal would have teachers, principals, even janitors possibly armed.

At a news conference, he spoke about Sandy Hook teacher Vicki Soto, who was killed trying to protect her students.

"We have a moral obligation that the next Vicki Soto who is faced with inexplicable evil that she not be left defenseless," said Donnelly.

Assembly Bill 202 would allow the use of education funds to pay for the program. School districts would decide whether to participate.

Democratic legislators are against the bill.

"We've laid off thousand of teachers in the last couple of years," said Assemblyman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley). "Why would we use the few school personnel we have left to be armed guards, when armed guards don't always prevent shootings?"

The proposed program would ensure that those carrying concealed weapons have the proper permits and training. No one outside the school administration would know the identity of the marshals on campus.

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