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Proposed state legislation may pave way for safety marshals on public school grounds

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Republican state Senator Stan Bingham is proposing legislation that would allow NC public schools to have trained safety marshals on school grounds.

If the legislation filed on January 31 passes, the volunteer safety marshals would know how to use a gun and work together as a team in a crisis situation. Teachers, coaches, retired law enforcement officials and anybody else who is interested could volunteer to be a trained safety marshal. Extensive background checks by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission would help choose volunteers who were qualified.

Bingham says there has been plenty of interest in the program. “And that’s the reason I’d say there’ll be volunteers who would be trigger happy that may want to volunteer but they wouldn’t be the best choice. And you know, that would be this training and standards group, that I’m sure they’ve gone through this many, many times and because of the history and expertise they’ve got to draw from there’s little trigger things that they look at.”  

Bingham says law enforcement officials recommend a “lock box” that would house a variety of guns to handle different situations.

“They would also need to carry some, rather than a hand gun, you know probably have someone on the team that would have a rifle and possibly a scope that they could shoot somebody at 100 yards.”

Bingham says that there would be three to four safety marshals in a school but if the bill passes, it will be up to each school board to decide if they want to recruit safety marshals.

The details are still in the works, but Bingham says he’s interested in introducing and passing the bill “rather promptly.”

Jessica is a junior at UNCW pursuing a B.A. in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She worked on an audio project similar to NPR's StoryCorps over the summer where she interviewed mentors and their mentees on the UNCW campus. This project inspired her to work more with public radio and the media. She is also a contributing writer for the school's newspaper, The Seahawk. Jessica loves her job as a resident assistant, trying out new restaurants, working out so she can keep eating at new restaurants, and bringing news to the community.