Texas School Districts Failing To Comply With Required Safety Audits
[Update: Thursday, Dec. 20] The Texas School Safety Center, located at Texas State University in San Marcos, now says there are only 29 schools not in compliance with the safety audits.
This is down from the 78 total districts who did not meet the Texas Education Code safety requirement -- 38 that did not report, and 40 that were not fully compliant. The center said that slow paperwork is to blame for those schools that are now cleared.
[Original Post: Monday, Dec. 17] The Texas Education Code requires that Texas public schools conduct safety audits once every three years, but according to the Texas School Safety Center, 38 districts did not report their safety audit and 40 other districts did not meet full compliance.
There are 1,025 public school districts in Texas that are required by law to submit their safety audits; all San Antonio districts are listed in the report as having submitted their audits, but La Vernia ISD, Natalia ISD, and Pleasanton ISD, which are all outside the city, are on the list.
Following the deadly school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is urging school districts across Texas to review their security.
"When Seconds Count," a video produced by the Texas School Safety Center and the attorney general's office, shows the terror of what it would be like to experience a school shooting similar to the one at Sandy Hook Elementary. The video also illustrates how a carefully laid out plan can prepare a school for an encounter with a heavily-armed shooter.
Attorney General Greg Abbott explains in the video that each Texas school needs to plan now before a shooting or another emergency situation occurs.
"We owe it to our children to be prepared for such a situation," says Abbott in the video. "Unfortunately the tragedies at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School are still fresh in our memories. Although we hope it doesn’t happen here in Texas, we must be vigilant. We must be ready."
The attorney general's video web page was last updated September 13, 2010.
The Texas School Safety Center was created in 1999 in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy, and provides schools with research, training and technical assistance to reduce youth violence and promote safety in Texas schools.