The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

December 18, 2012

Three area school districts without safety audits

By BRAD KELLAR
CNHI

GREENVILLE — Three area school districts were reported Monday to have no school safety audits on file with the Texas School Safety Center.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a statement, noting that of the 1,025 school districts in the state that are required by law to submit safety audits, 38 had not done so and another 40 districts reported, but did not meet full compliance.

Abbott said he was focusing on the audits in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting.

“Proper preparedness and safety in our schools is not just an exercise, it will save lives when seconds count,” Abbott said. Abbott is a board member of the Texas School Safety Center. “While we are saddened by the tragedy in Newtown, we can’t let another second tick by without getting school districts prepared to encounter the same type of situation in our state. My office will continue working with the Texas School Safety Center to ensure that every school district across this state has an effective school safety plan in place.”

All of the school districts in Hunt County were reported to have the audits on file.

But the Miller Grove Independent School District in Cumby in Hopkins County, the Cooper ISD in Delta County and the Leonard Independent School District in Fannin County were reported to have yet to file the audits as of Monday.

Abbott said the Texas Education Code requires that Texas public schools conduct safety audits once every three years.

“Having a plan is important, but executing that plan under stress – when seconds count – is critical to saving lives,” Abbott said. “Texas schoolchildren must be safe and secure. The difference between life and death frequently hinges upon how educators and law enforcement respond in the seconds before and after a violent incident. Campus security audits provide crucial information about the proper response during disaster situations.”