Santa Fe ISD leader wants school safety measures to last

A leader of Santa Fe ISD is calling on community members to help ensure changes made for school safety since the deadly 2018 shooting are able to last.

Rusty Norman was President of Santa Fe ISD's Board of Trustees the day when 10 lives were lost in their high school from a mass shooting.
"When a student tells you this is the world they're growing up in, and they've come to sort of expect this and just hope it doesn't happen to them, there's something fundamentally wrong with that," Norman said. I think as adults, it's our responsibility to do something about that."
So when re-election came around, he ran again and has been responsible for overseeing changes to prevent another tragedy. Norman says the district has spent around $3 million hardening school campuses and increasing mental health services.

Despite these changes, Rusty says he's worried.
"We cannot continue to do some of the things, and spend some of the money we're spending, if we don't get some help."
He says initial donations after the shooting helped, but came with long-term costs.
"Metal detectors were donated to us, but those metal detectors are costing us about $500,000 a year to operate."

He says grants helped implement more mental health resources, but the district doesn't want to be dependent on outside support for what he considers vital long-term needs.

So Norman's been traveling to Austin, advocating for more funding across the state for school safety. It's something he hopes other Santa Fe residents will join in doing over the coming weeks.

"What we need from the community right now more than anything is to continue to tell the story; to put the pressure on the lawmakers."

And when it comes to arming teachers, Norman says it had been a consideration since well before the shooting.
"We are still actively researching and looking at that, but there is no official program in place at this time."