WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — School Safety remains the topic of discussion. After the many school shootings across the nation, our state leaders say it’s imperative they pass laws to try and end them, House Bill 3 is a good first step.
“It works with schools around the state on their school safety plans; almost all schools are already doing this, so it tries to put some state wide resources there. Right now the house version, we don’t know what we’ll end up with, but it’s about $1.6 Billion into school safety,” Texas State Representative of District 69 James Frank said.
Saving lives, though, is priceless and having the proper resources to do that, is an area Representative Frank says a lot of smaller towns can improve in. The bill would put one armed officer or employee on every campus.
“This is executed locally, this is state trying to help in this regard, trying to bring some framework, but at the end of the day every school district is already on this and hopefully is also redoubling their efforts individually,” Frank said.
The WFISD is surely doubling theirs. Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee says the district has already been discussing adding rifles for school officers.
“Regardless of this bill before it passed HB3, we were already looking at this direction, so if we don’t get any funding were still moving forward with additional officers at WFISD,” WFISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee said.
The WFISD currently has 10 officers, only eight are on campuses, and none of them are on elementary campuses.
Next school year, they’ll have 24 campuses total, so they’d need 16 additional officers if HB3 passes.
“The way it looks in Wichita Falls, a much bigger district versus the way it looks in some of my smaller districts we have 14 counties it’s a lot different,” Representative Frank said.
Funds could also be used for fences or window upgrades at schools, anything to slow down a threat.
“The issue is with safety is its the response time when an issue takes place, so we had an issue at Scotland Park, and it took three minutes to get there because we didn’t have an officer at Scotland Park,” Superintendent Lee said “we need to be ensuring that our students and staff are safe and the best most reliable way to do that is with an armed officer.”
Districts now wait to see if it passes. Dr. Lee also shared that Memorial and Legacy High Schools will have bullet resistant glass.