This subject is all in the news now and we wanted to weigh in.
Unlike public schools who depend on the state to hire and deploy armed School Resource Officers (SROs), private schools don’t have that option funded by our tax dollars. Private schools must act on our own to secure our private schools.
The school can’t hire Off-Duty Police to be full-time security because they already have full-time jobs “Being Police”. You can call 911 when the shooting starts, but time and time again they get there too late. We must have “Initial Responders” that are already at the school. Even that is no guarantee, as we saw in this latest incident. Cost as a factor
– Let’s say that you COULD hire law enforcement full-time. At the average cost of $40 per hour that would be approximately $85,000 per year plus benefits. What happens when they are sick, etc. The cost of full-time third-party professional licensed security is about the same, a little less.
Using the school’s staff as security with only a “License To Carry” might be an attractive option if it were legal, but where would that liability fall it something were to happen and Coach Smith, with his License To Carry, were to make a mistake?
Texas “School Marshal” program – With school shootings in the news, the media is showing the governor of Texas touting our (yes, I live in Texas) “School Marshal” program. The numbers a humorous.
Of the some approximately 1,250 school districts in Texas, Texas Representative Jason Villalba, who authored the law, says there are around 20, YES TWENTY, or so School Marshals in the State with only about 50 people ever even taking the 80 hour class. This program has also been authorized for private schools in Texas. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/texas-schools-can-choose-to-train-and-arm-their-teachers-heres-how-it-works
We have an option that a number of private Christian school have chosen. It is a mix of having the schools staff and hiring a third-party professional security firm.
Our Gatekeeper Program™
takes your chosen staff members and trains them to state professional private security standards, licenses them through the Texas Department of Public Safety – Private Security Bureau as plain clothes Personal Protection Officers and then deploys them back into the school. The saving is about 75% of the cost of hiring outside contractors, either law enforcement or private security.
The beauty to this program is that the school has hired an outside security firm while using their own people. If this makes sense to your private Christians school in Texas, please call us to discuss. If you are out of Texas we could also talk about a similar arrangement for other states that might allow it.