SANTA FE, Texas – The Astros Foundation has donated $75,000 to help Santa Fe Independent School District purchase new equipment for its police department, as the school district works to improve security measures districtwide, following the mass shooting which occurred at Santa Fe High School in May.
Emotions are still raw more than two months after the tragedy at Santa Fe High School just weeks away from the start of the next school year.
The Santa Fe ISD school board met Monday evening inside a packed board room.
The crowd had several parents of students who died when on May 18 a fellow student killed 10 people and wounded 13 others. The audience included Rosie Stone -- the mother of Chris Stone -- who tried to shield other students from the gunman.
"My son is dead. Do you understand that? He's dead," Stone said to school board members during the public portion of the meeting. "He's never coming back. You know why? Because nobody made safety a number one priority."
One of the most contentious issues discussed Monday was the suggestion of arming teachers and other staff at Santa Fe schools. Some intimated they would support such a measure but the loudest voices are adamantly opposed.
"Santa Fe ISD needs to keep guns out of the classroom because maybe if they had, my child wouldn't have four bullets in her," Rhonda Hart, the mother of Kimberly Vaughn who was killed. "Do you know I couldn't even donate her organs. There was nothing salvageable."
Hart is one of the parents against the idea of arming teachers.
"There's so many things that could go wrong in that scenario," Hart says. "I only listed three of them in the room there and that's just the tip of the iceberg."
Board members did approve the donation of several items to bolster security at their schools. They are accepting 19 metal detectors, protective vests for police, eight custom AR-15 patrol rifles -- plus training ammunition and advanced rifle courses so officers learn to properly use those weapons.
They also accepted the donation of 20 additional portable radios to improve communication between police and staff in the event of another tragedy.