26 Mar Good Guys With Guns: One Texas Town’s Solution To School Security
AUSTIN, TEXAS — In the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shootings, while other educators clamored for “gun free zones” and more intuitive psychotherapy, one Texas superintendant took the bull by the horns, bought an arsenal, and installed a surveillance system.
“How do you keep the bad guys from getting guns? They’re out there. They just are. Whether people like it or not, that’s just how it is,” Texas City Supe. Rodney Cavness told Texas Observer.
Problematically for that argument, however, is that the morning of the shooting, a full-scale federal-state-local joint training op for an active shooter was actually underway at Santa Fe High School — when local news outlets report the training exercise went live.
“We talk about securing buildings from outside, and that’s important. Let me ask you, when’s the last time we’ve had an unknown armed intruder in a school?” former Secret Service Agent Mike Matranga — the school’s security chief — said at a recent Texas Senate hearing on school safety.
“Well, the wolf is in the henhouse. We’ve got to identify the wolf.” Identifying the wolf is hardly a help to frantic students dodging bullets though, say critics of Cavness’ plan.
Some critics suggest that putting down the shooter, not checking his biometric profile or skin color density is arguably where school security responses should focus, reports the left-leaning Texas Observer.
Cavness is promoting a Texas-sized solution to school violence, and it’s now being held up by state lawmakers as the “model” for schools everywhere.
Privacy and civil liberties concerns are being raised by parents and other members of community about chipping and tracking the students’ whereabouts at all times, as a way to keep them from being less dead next time an active shooter sprints through school halls with an AR-15.
“The 9,000-student district has already spent more than $5 million on a facial recognition camera surveillance system; AR-15s; real-time student tracking devices; eight additional Galveston County sheriff’s deputies (for a total of 19), who work as school liaison officers; and state-of-the art hardware to secure entryways and automatically lock classroom doors,” Texas Observer reports.
Though he stressed a “moral and ethical obligation” to buy 22 AR-15 rifles, school police officers can only access them in the event of a shooting.
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