Getting classroom-ready also means keeping school campuses safe.
Texas students started the new school year with some major changes to school safety laws. KPRC 2 Investigates explains how local school districts are and are not complying with the new requirements.
Investigator Amy Davis sat down with parents from six different school districts with students from elementary to high school. They all share the same concern = Are their children safe in school?
“We can’t be there every single day,” said Santa Fe ISD parent Christina Delgado.
“If we’re not going to speak upon behalf of our student’s safety, who is?” said Clear Creek ISD parent Amanda Fenwick.
Texas lawmakers approved House Bill 3 which requires an armed, trained officer on every school campus. The law took effect September 1st. KPRC 2 Investigates asked 20+ school districts in our area if they were ready for the new rules. 10 told us they have secured enough officers or school guardians to comply with the new law.
“House Bill 3 was great, but it didn’t have enough funding behind it to really be effective for any of us,” said Cy-Fair ISD mom Tonia Jaeggi.
Elements of House Bill 3
- The law provides just $15,000 to each campus to use for school safety and security.
- Requirement that schools notify parents of violent activity that occurred or is being investigated at a school campus.
- There’s also a new mandate that says when a child transfers to a new district the former school district must provide the child’s disciplinary record along with any threat assessment on file involving the child’s behavior.
- Also now required: annual intruder detection audits.
Amy asks, “How easy or difficult would it be for someone to just walk into your child’s school?”
“It is incredibly scary how easy it would be if I wasn’t supposed to be there. Just to say I’m picking up a second grader,” said HISD parent Monica Garcia.
But in Texas’ first intruder detection audit, completed in June, inspectors did not gain unauthorized access at more than 95% of Texas school campuses. All exterior doors at Texas school campuses must be locked and weekly door sweeps are required to make sure they’re secure.
“Who’s holding these districts accountable to ensure that they are going through these drills? Are they keeping up with walking these doors?” asked Delgado.
The Texas Education Agency is responsible for making sure all school districts are in compliance. Districts who cannot meet the requirements like paying for armed officers or school marshals can claim a good cause exception. But if they do the district has to come up with an alternative approved plan like an armed school district employee who has completed the safety training.
School security for school districts in our area
Houston area school districts are listed below in alphabetical order. Click on the district name for a direct link to the safety and security protocols for each district.
YES, OR NO? Is the district staffed with armed guards on every campus as stated in HB 3? You’ll find that answer next to each district below.
Alief ISD - YES
Alvin ISD - YES
Brazosport ISD - YES
Clear Creek ISD - YES
Conroe ISD - NO
Cypress Fairbanks ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Dickinson ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Fort Bend ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Friendswood ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Galveston ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Goose Creek ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Houston ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Humble ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Katy ISD -NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Klein ISD - Waiting for a response
LaPorte ISD - YES
New Caney ISD - Waiting for a response
Magnolia ISD - YES
Montgomery ISD - YES
Pasadena ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
Pearland ISD - Waiting for response
Santa Fe ISD - YES
Sheldon ISD - YES
Splendora ISD - YES
Spring Branch ISD - NO, FILE EXCEPTION
YES Prep - YES
Is there another district you would like us to check on for you? Email Investigates Producer Andrea Slaydon at ASlaydon@kprc.com.