Lt. Governor also announces security grant program for all school districts as one of the first steps in the Senate’s commitment to a comprehensive school safety plan
AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced today he will donate up to 10 metal detectors to the Santa Fe Independent School District so the school district can update the security of its entry ways before school starts in August, pending approval by the local school board.
In making the donation, the lieutenant governor joins Garrett Metal Detectors, a Texas company, that is also donating metal detectors to Santa Fe ISD and has agreed to perform a security analysis and train Santa Fe ISD staff at no cost.
Santa Fe ISD was the site of a deadly school shooting on May 18. Last week a large group of Santa Fe parents asked the Santa Fe ISD School Board to install metal detectors at all schools before classes begin again this year. In making the announcement, Lt. Gov. Patrick said:
“On the day of the shooting in Santa Fe, I made securing the entrances and exits to our schools a top priority. Santa Fe parents have asked for immediate action to secure the entrances to their schools and I want to make sure that if the Santa Fe ISD School Board wants to install metal detectors they can do so.
“Today I am also pledging that the Texas Senate will create a new matching fund program in the next legislative session for other schools that want to install metal detectors or use wands for inspection. Schools that install detectors or buy wands before next session can be reimbursed retroactively through the matching program.
“We know we need a comprehensive plan to secure our schools statewide and there is no ‘one-size-fits- all’ strategy. Each district will decide the path best for them.”
Recently, the lieutenant governor met privately with President Donald Trump, Governor Greg Abbott and the Santa Fe victims’ families. In that meeting the lieutenant governor pledged funding for schools
to install exit emergency push bar doors that prevent outside intrusion but can be opened from the inside so that no child is trapped in case of fire or an active shooter.
The lieutenant governor is also supporting funding for the Texas School Marshall Program for schools that choose to train and arm school personnel. Currently over 170 school districts allow personnel to be armed through their own training programs and an estimated 140 or more individuals are being trained this summer.
Immediately following the shooting in Santa Fe, Lt. Gov. Patrick appointed a Select Committee on School Safety and Security which is currently studying a broad range of strategies to eliminate violent intruders in Texas public schools and address the root causes of school violence. The lieutenant governor has directed the Select Committee to complete their work by the end of July and provide him with a report.