Texas City, TX – One school district in Texas isn’t playing around with student security – the students and staff wear tracking chips and the security guards carry AR-15s.
Texas City Independent School District Superintendent Rodney Cavness said the new security measures were implemented after 10 students were fatally shot at nearby Santa Fe High School last year, FOX News reported.
“We’re not playing around. This isn’t some kind of little game to us. We put a lot of time, money, and effort into this,” Cavness said.
The superintendent created a new position for school safety and security and hired a former U.S. Secret Service agent to make things safer, according to FOX News.
Former U.S. Secret Service Agent Mike Matranga has been involved with some of the preliminary measures the school district has taken to upgrade safety.
So far, glass doors have been lined with intrusion film that is supposed to make them impact resistant, FOX News reported.
And all of the students and staff at the schools wear radio frequency identification cards that can track their movements throughout the school, according to FOX News.
“What we’re trying to do is buy time, and by buying time and by having a deputy on campus or multiple deputies on campus, that time allows our deputies to respond and do their job,” Matranga explained.
Every deputy in every school has been issued an AR-15 rifle and a safe to keep it in that can only be unlocked with a code.
“These are the weapons we purchased for our deputies. I’m a firm believer that we fight firepower with superior firepower,” Matranga told FOX News.
The school district has also introduced facial recognition software for the surveillance cameras on its campuses.
The new security additions were no surprise to parents in the school district. Texas City voters approved a $6.5 million bond measure to pay for the safety upgrades in May.
The president of a for-profit consulting firm called National School and Security Services said he had concerns about Texas City’s approach.
“This district seemed to gather a lot of attention because they put a whole lot of money in a short period of time,” Ken Trump told FOX News. “The question isn’t really whether school safety is the top priority now, but six months down the road when the memories of Parkland fade, will there be the same investment not only in time and dollars but the people?”
Trump, who is no related to President Donald Trump, said Texas City has taken the most intensive steps of any school district in the United States.
But the man who is in charge of the school district’s security said it was not just about the money being spent.
Matranga said that teachers are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping students safe.
He told FOX News there is no substitute for having eyes and ears on the ground to report suspicious behavior.
“It’s not about the camera system. It’s not about the electronic locks. Though we’re doing that, it’s about investing in people. And that’s the key,” Matranga said.
Texas Gun Sense Vice Chair Ed Scruggs claims that bigger things need to happen on the outside of the school to protect security.
“More universal background checks on gun sales, better mental health, better background check system… if we can keep guns out of the hands of people that shouldn’t have them, we’re going to automatically be safer,” Scruggs said.
But the superintendent said he was staying focused on safety inside his schools.
“I think we’re living in a sick society, and there are some very deeply troubled people out there that want to do harm to kids and to campuses and to teachers, and we’re not going to let that happen,” Cavness said, according to the Daily Mail.