Dallas

Security Plans Handled by Individual School Districts with Oversight From the State of Texas

As schools let out this week, it is unclear what more Texas campuses can do to protect students and teachers when they return to the classroom in just over two months.

The Texas School Safety Center, which was created after the Columbine school mass shooting in 1999, assesses campus safety and provides resources and training to school districts.

The organization, housed at Texas State University in San Marcos and funded by the Office of the Governor, released its first audit of school preparedness and found the majority of Texas’ 1,022 K-12 school districts didn’t have a viable active shooter policy.

The audit was part of a host of reforms Texas lawmakers passed in 2019, which included $100 million for more enhanced campus security, one year after eight students and two teachers were killed at Santa Fe High School outside Houston.

The reforms included allowing more school employees to carry guns and creating threat assessment teams.

Lynelle Sparks is the executive director of the Texas School Resource Officers Association and an SRO in Hillsboro ISD.

“We would recommend an officer at every campus,” Sparks said. “I think we need a joint training with administrators and school resource officers, school-based law enforcement, where everyone comes together and actually works their plans.”

NBC News has learned Uvalde Consolidated ISD is one of the smaller districts that used extra state funding after Santa Fe to more than double its security budget.

Katherine Martinez-Prather, director of the Texas School Safety Center said Thursday she has not found the district’s security plans to be in non-compliance.

“We can do everything we can to mitigate and prevent school shootings but we are never going to stop these events from happening 100 percent of the time, because evil exists,” Martinez-Prather told NBC News.

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