Conroe ISD board gives little support to arming teachers at schools | #schoolsaftey

Conroe ISD Trustee Misty Odenweller would like to see armed teachers on campus to fill in security gaps across the district but got little support on the issue from fellow board members and CISD Police Chief Matt Blakelock.

The discussion during an Aug. 1 board meeting comes after passage of House Bill 3 where all school districts are required to have an armed security officer at all campuses during regular school hours.

According to the bill, spurred by the mass shootings May 2018 at Sante Fe High School and May 2022 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, districts can have police departments but the legislation now allows for districts to contract for security services or arm campus employees who have safety training.

ON YOURCONROENEWS.COM: Conroe ISD considers creating cell phone policy to address student mental health

Blakelock said the department is compliant with HB 3 and each campus does have an officer assigned to it. However, some officers cover multiple schools since the department doesn’t have enough officers to staff each campus with one officer.

Odenweller said an armed campus employee or teacher can respond more quickly to a threat.

“It gives us that first line of defense,” Odenweller said. “In every school shooting, there were teachers and employees protecting other employees and children. That’s our first line and the only reason I think we should consider additional options aside from our officers.”

Fellow trustees disagreed with Odenweller.

“The last thing I want our teachers to be police officers,” Trustee Datren Williams said. “The last thing I want is a teacher to misplace or mishandle a gun and get hurt. The more guns you add to a fight, especially untrained guns, the more frustration and chaos and it leads to more lives being lost. I only want armed, uniformed police officers in our schools.”

Odenweller said despite state funding to help with enhanced security, funding remains an issue.

The state will provide school districts $15,000 per campus and $10 per student to help fund security personnel. In addition, lawmakers have allocated $1.1 billion to the Texas Education Agency to administer school safety grants to school districts.

“I would ideally like to have more than (one officer per campus),” Odenweller said. “That’s the absolute best option.”

Blakelock said each officer has extensive training including 720 hours of police academy training, 80 hours of classroom and tactical training once hired, 40 hours of defensive tactics, 14 weeks of field training and over 100 hours of annual training. Each officer also is issued and trained to use body armor, firearms, shields and breaching tools.

Blakelock said he wasn’t in favor of arming teachers or campus employees.

“I can tell you right now, what are standard is, needs to remain,” Blakelock said. “That is Conroe ISD police officers being hired and assigned to each of our campuses. We are highly trained, highly vetted and able to handle any emergency that happens on that campus. I want the right armed person on campus protecting our kids.”

Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security