State lawmakers to unveil school security legislation


by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 22 at 8:56 AM

AUSTIN -- State lawmakers are taking a lesson from the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  A group is proposing a bill Tuesday afternoon which would give individual school districts more say over security.

There's support for the Texas School District Security Act in both the House and Senate and from both Republicans and Democrats.The act gives school districts options to increase law enforcement and security on campus.

Following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the Austin Police Department increased patrols at AISD elementary schools. Currently the district stations security officers at all high schools, but none at elementary schools. 

Similar measures are spreading statewide. In Navarro Independent School District an armed deputy is now stationed at each school.

In Harrold, Texas teachers who have a concealed handgun license can carry a gun with them to campus. It's a measure called The Guardian Plan, and it has been in place since 2007.

Those measures get expensive and currently districts cover the costs. Navarro ISD officials say it will cost about $50,000 a year to cover the expense of the armed deputy.

It’s unclear whether those expenses could be covered by the state with The Texas School District Security Act. Details will be announced Tuesday afternoon by Senator Tommy Williams (R) of The Woodlands, Senator John Whitmire (D) of Houston and Representative Dan Huberty (R) of Humble.

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