Santa Fe ISD board president clarifies new security measures for upcoming school year

- Santa Fe School Board members have approved and will now accept an anonymous donation of guns, ammunition and training for its school resource officers. After a heated meeting Monday night, parents and community members want to know where the donation is coming from.

According to school board president, Rusty Norman, the donation came from a group of private citizens who wanted to remain anonymous. The donation included eight AR-15 patrol rifles, ammunition and advanced firearm training that totaled more than $20,000 in value.

Norman said all of it is meant for school resource officers only.

"Our police officers who are certified to carry weapons will be armed and that will be it. There are no programs in place right now to arm teachers either through the Guardian or the Marshall program," Norman said.

Norman adds the donation will help arm the additional patrol on campus, which the board had not yet budgeted for.

At some point during the meeting, orange flyers with information about two plans that could arm teachers were handed out. Although arming teachers was not on the agenda, conclusions were quickly drawn and parents were not happy.

However, Norman said that doesn't mean Santa Fe ISD will never see its teachers or faculty armed. That possibility is still being discussed by its safety and security committee.

"I can say most definitely, it would not happen before school started. There's just not enough time there. Whether it would even be considered this school year, I just can't answer that at this time," Norman said.

With less than three weeks until the start of school August 20, time is ticking for Santa Fe ISD to finish implementing its new security measures on campus, including 19 metal detectors-- nine of which will be erected at the high school as soon as next week.

Santa Fe will also increase its full-time school resource officers from eight to 14, its part-time officers from five to 10, and will also be adding 10 campus security assistants.

"I dont think it's ever too late to do things and make changes. Again, we felt like we were in great shape prior to May 18," Norman said.

Santa Fe ISD board of trustees has its next meeting scheduled for August 27, but may host a special forum the week before school starts.

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