Parents of Santa Fe High School shooting victims demand action from trustees

Santa Fe Independent School District board members met on Tuesday to review and vote on several safety and security measures. If passed, some of these items could be installed by the next school year. However, some parents of the students killed in the on-campus shooting are criticizing administrators for their lack of action over the last several weeks.

Rhonda Hart is both frustrated and outraged after she said school board leadership has not done enough to keep children at Santa Fe High School safer in the weeks following the deadly May 18  mass shooting.

"They have to do something," said Hart. "We are so tired of sit back and hurry up and wait." Her daughter, 14-year-old Kimberly Vaughn, was one of the ten people killed.

Hart was a Santa Fe ISD bus driver for for almost seven years, but the morning of May 18 was her last.

"The last thing I said to her were, 'Bye, Kim. I love you,' as she walked by my door, and she said it back," described Hart.

The former Santa Fe ISD employee said the administration has been dragging its feet on making the school a safer place for students to return to in time for the fall semester. 

"It's been a lot of talk and no action," added Hart. "It's this e-mail and that e-mail, and attend this town hall and that town hall. There's this caucus. And it's like, stop talking about it! Get off your rear ends and do something about it."

On the agenda for the Tuesday meeting, the Santa Fe ISD board discussed and voted on approving five safety measures including the following: 

  • installing locks on classroom doors that only open from the inside
  • installing security fencing along the high school
  • remodeling the high school's front entrance 
  • purchasing new alarms and panic devices 
  • relocating classes at the high school 

However, Hart and several other parents are determined to expand the conversation to include adding more officers and counselors on campus, and installing metal detectors at the school. 

"Just because we have metal detectors or clear backpacks, doesn't make it like a prison," said Hart. "It doesn't. We have to keep these guys safe. It's not an option anymore." 

Hart isn't the only parent. In an exclusive interview with FOX 26 News on Monday, Chris Stone's mother, Rosie, said she too wants to see more action from school authorities. 

Stone met with Santa Fe ISD Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall privately on Monday morning to discuss what security measures are being implemented. 

"Not everybody is going to be happy," said Rosie. "Somebody's going to be upset."

"Kids go to school and they're afraid of their lives," said Hart. "Whatever they have to do to keep them safe, I think it should be done." 

A separate safety meeting for concerned parents took place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Santa Fe City Hall.

Several school board members spoke with FOX 26 on the phone early on Tuesday morning, but all declined to comment on camera. However, they said the board plans on sticking only to the items on the agenda.