Lubbock ISD plans to put an armed officer on every campus for next year
In accordance with House Bill 3 becoming law Sept. 1
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Back in June, Governor Abbott signed a law to equip every school in Texas with an armed guard.
House Bill 3 came down in response to the school massacre in Uvalde last year that left 19 children and two adults dead. The bill increases safety measures in all public and charter schools in Texas, but some districts are saying it comes with many challenges.
“We can never say with 100% certainty that nothing is going to happen,” Lubbock ISD Superintendent Dr. Kathy Rollo said.
She said House Bill 3 doesn’t change much in her district, they already have secure entrances, active shooter protocols, drills and full-scale training exercises.
“Working with the city police and sheriff’s office, all of our first responders, just so we can ensure our people have some muscle memory and can respond in case of an emergency,” Dr. Rollo said.
House Bill 3 requires at least one armed security officer on each campus during school hours. Rollo says this poses a few challenges for schools, number one is the $15,000 allocated to each campus.
“This is one-time funding, obviously this is not a one-time one-year expectation, and so that’s another challenge, is finding room in the budget to add that many additional police officers,” Dr. Rollo said.
Even after some lawmakers disagreed, the finalized bill states the armed security can be a peace officer, marshal, school resource officer or even a district employee.
“If districts were arming school employees I do have concerns with that and that could create a dangerous situation in some cases,” Dr. Rollo said.
But Rollo says the district will do its due diligence to find the right candidate for each campus.
“The challenge is having enough applicants to ensure we have a person on every single campus. We have the job posted to add additional officers. We feel very strongly that it needs to be a police officer,” she said.
The district hopes this change can bring parents peace of mind.
“Particularly parents feel more comfortable knowing there’s someone there and that their sole purpose and responsibility is to ensure the safety of the students and staff on campus” She said.
The pressure is on for school districts since the bill will become a law on Sept. 1, less than one month into the new school year.
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