SANTA FE, Texas (FOX 26) - The mother of Chris Stone, one of 10 people killed during the shooting at Santa Fe High School on May 18, spoke out to FOX 26 exclusively, for the first time since her son's death. Following a private, one-on-one meeting with Santa Fe ISD Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall, Rosie Stone said time is ticking for school officials to implement changes to their safety and security measures.
"I'm giving them that benefit of doubt until they prove me wrong. I'm going to give them the benefit of doubt that they're going to do right by us the community," Stone said.
Stone told FOX 26 the meeting was productive. School officials have apparently asked her to give them one week to work on measures to help make Santa Fe High School a safer place for all students.
"This is where my son's spirit is and this is where we have to start making the change," Stone said.
From speaking at previous school board meetings, to scheduling a private, one-on-one with Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall Monday morning, Stone is determined to get school officials to take action. Stone said anything from increased officers and counselors, to installing metal detectors would be a step closer to creating a safer space for kids to return to next school year.
"Not everybody is going to be happy. Somebody's going to be upset. But at the end of the day, we all have the same goal: to keep our kids safe. And if metal detectors is one of them and they're being given to us, I just think they need to be implemented. They have to," Stone said.
For the last several weeks, Stone has been clinging to hope through a pendant necklace, gifted to her by Chris's girlfriend two days after the deadly shooting.
"One side is me and Chris. This was the last picture him and I took. And this was his junior prom-- just the Saturday before all this happened. And I just believe this was sent to me from my son, to let me know that he's still here with me," Stone said.
For now, it's a waiting game with Santa Fe ISD. Stone said she's expecting some act of change to be set in place by next Monday, July 16, as promised by Dr. Wall.
In honor of the movement 'CCC,' named after Chris, Stone said she won't stop until something is done to keep kids at Santa Fe safer. It's a promise Stone and her family have committed to live by.
"We're going to try everything we can to live his legacy for 'Chris, courage, change.' Nobody forget everything he sacrificed to help others survive that day," Stone said.
In a statement responding to the meeting, Dr. Leigh Wall said, “Our hope is for us to work together and unite with our parents and the community to move forward and ensure all our students and staff are provided a safe learning environment.”
A Santa Fe school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m..
On the agenda are several action items to discuss safety measures at the school including installing locks inside all classrooms, remodeling the high school's front entrance, relocating classes at the high school, installing perimeter security fencing at the high school, and purchasing dual alarm options and panic buttons.
Stone said a number of parents and community members are expected to be in attendance to bring forth their concerns.