LISD discusses school safety

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McKamy Middle School parent Vishwanath Madhugiri, Flower Mound High School 9th Grade student Dayana Felicien and district prevention and intervention specialist Anne Lehew, all of whom served on the School Safety Advisory Task Force, address the board. (Photo by Leopold Knopp)

by Leopold Knopp

At its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 15 the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees discussed the future of school safety projects.

During informational items, chief schools officer Joseph Coburn outlined the tasks and conclusions of the School Safety Task Force.

The task force, comprised of parents, staff members, high school students and local police forces, met four times since September to discuss how they felt about school safety measures.

School safety became a point of acute national anxiety at the end of last school year following two mass shootings in Parkland County, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas. There were also multiple Twitter-based scares late last school year that LISD schools might become the scene of a major shooting.

After the Santa Fe shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott strongly encouraged schools adopt material defenses, including a school marshal program that would allow some teachers to carry firearms, installing metal detectors and closing off extra ways in and out of campuses.

Coburn and task force members spoke about the process and findings of the task force. The task force was broken down into groups that each included at least one student, parent, LISD official, mental health professional and law enforcement professional, and then each group was asked to score several proposed measures in terms of their desirability.

Some of the highest scoring measures were mental health training for all staff, ID badges for students, overnight security monitoring and active shooter training for all staff members.

Engaging in the school marshal program, installing metal detectors and mandating the use of clear plastic backpacks were all among the lowest-scoring options.

Coburn said the task force’s findings would inform several staff proposals in the coming months.

Board member Kristi Hassett is presented with a Leadership TASB certificate, stating she has completed the statewide board development program. The TASB program is a year-long program for school board members across the state that exposes them to unfamiliar school districts, their problems and how they deal with them. (Photo by Leopold Knopp)
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Max Miller is the publisher of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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