Spring - Klein Edition | August 2022


In the months that followed a deadly school shooting in Uvalde, school safety and security has been a focal point for representatives both locally and statewide. CATALYST FOR CHANGE

approved by voters May 7, prioritizing many of the safety- and security- related projects. Meanwhile, the SISD board of trustees voted Aug. 9 to place an $850 million bond referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot. If approved, SISD’s bond would also allocate funding for safety and security enhancements districtwide. Marlon Runnels, who became KISD’s chief of police following the retirement of former chief David Kimberly on June 2, noted the dis- trict has police presence on every campus every day. “There’s an expectation in Klein ISD that safety is everyone’s respon- sibility,” Runnels said. “Their chief of police is not just the chief of police; he’s a parent in Klein ISD. And I take my role and responsibility in protect- ing my kids and every parent in the district’s kids very seriously.” Since 1970, 177 shooting incidents have occurred at K-12 schools in Texas with nearly 25% taking place in the Greater Houston area. Data also shows 38 of those Texas incidents happened between January 2020 and June 2022— the most of any decade prior. “We have experienced fairly steady growth since [the 1990s],” said Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Ošcers. “School shootings drive demand [for school resource oš- cers]; there is no question about it. I wish it was not that way, but it is.” Statewide response One week after the May 24 shooting in Uvalde, Gov. Greg Abbott requested the formation of two special legisla- tive committees to investigate school safety and mass violence. “This is the fourth mass casualty event that we’ve had in Texas since I’ve been in ošce,” said state Rep. Dan Huberty, RŸHouston, the previous House Public Education Committee chair, during a June 14 State of the State address. “The reality is that I look at this and say, ‘We’re culpable. I’m culpable.’ We’ve got to do something.” On June 28, state leaders allocated $100.58 million to school districts statewide, which included $50 million for bullet-resistant shields and $17.1 million for the Texas Education Agency to help school districts purchase silent alert systems, among other school safety and mental health initiatives.

According to state leaders, the fund- ing comes from a budget surplus in the Foundation School Program and there- fore will not impact current school operations or funding. “Funding these much-needed ini- tiatives marks the ¥rst of many steps that we will take at the Legislature to respond to the horri¥c events in Uvalde and prevent another tragedy like this from happening again,” Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan said in a June 28 news release.

MAY 24, 2022: A mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde results in the deaths of 19 students and two teachers. Texas shooting incidents at K-12 schools 1970-79 14

177 shooting incidents have occurred in Texas since 1970. 25% of those incidents took place in


2000-09 2010-19 1980-89 1990-99





2020-June 2022

the Greater Houston area.


JUNE 1: Gov. Greg Abbott requests the formation of two special legislative committees to investigate school safety and mass violence. Prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year, Abbott also tasks the Texas School Safety Center with ensuring school districts statewide: form safety and security committees; meet and address safety needs; train sta’ and substitute teachers on safety procedures; JUNE 14: Harris County Commissioners Court creates the Harris County Safe School Commission and requests a report on data surrounding Harris County youth gun violence trends. JUNE 28: Texas leaders allocate $100.58 million to school districts statewide to fund school safety and mental health initiatives through Aug. 31, 2023, including: schedule schoolwide safety drills; and assess all building access procedures.

Additionally, on June 1, Abbott tasked the Texas School Safety Center with ensuring school districts statewide form safety and security committees, meet and address safety needs, train sta§ and substitute teachers on safety procedures, schedule schoolwide safety drills and assess all building access procedures. School districts will be required to complete the safety tasks and report their ¥ndings to the TSSC by Sept. 1. The center will then provide a statewide safety report to Abbott and the Texas Legislature by Oct. 9. Local eorts Locally, the Harris County Com- missioners Court voted unanimously June 14 to request a report on county youth gun violence and create the Har- ris County Safe School Commission. The court later approved the appoint- ment of ¥ve members to the commis- sion June 28, among which were a high school student, a teacher, a superin- tendent, a school board member and a parent who lost her child to gun violence. The commission met for the ¥rst time June 30. During an Aug. 3 news conference, Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ram- sey said the ¥ndings of the commis- sion would be made available within a few weeks. “The safe school commission was set up for one reason: that’s to listen,

$17.1 million: silent panic alert systems $7 million: to elevate issues with access controls and security on school campuses $5 million: increased research capacity of the Texas Fusion Center $3 million: to o’set travel costs for ALERRT training

$50 million: bullet-resistant shields $7 million: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center $5.8 million: Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine program expansion $4.7 million: multisystemic therapy expansion $950,000: broadened coordinated specialty care at the early onset of psychosis

JUNE 28: Harris County Commissioners Court approved the appointment of •ive candidates to the Harris County Safe School Commission, including: Saami Baig , a high school student at the John Cooper School in The Woodlands; Traci Latson , a teacher at the Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School; Clandrian Simpson Kemp , founder of No Weapon #1Life Empowerment Lisa Andrews Alpe, vice president of the Spring Branch ISD school board. JUNE 30: The Harris County Safe School Commission meets for the •irst time. SEPT. 1: School districts statewide are required to complete safety tasks and report their šndings to the Texas School Safety Center. OCT. 9: The Texas School Safety Center provides a statewide safety report to Abbott and the Texas Legislature. JAN. 10, 2023: The 88th Texas Legislature convenes. 4 5 Foundation and member of Moms Demand Action; Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen ; and 1 2 3




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