ROUND ROCK—A “safe and suburban” Central Texas school district continues to be wracked with scandal — and their latest red flag is likely happening in more places across Texas.
Round Rock ISD’s School Safety and Security Committee, in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre and now just weeks before the school year begins, is frustrating and alarming parents.
Per recent state law following the 2018 Santa Fe shooting, every school district in the state is required to maintain a School Safety and Security Committee — responsible for developing and implementing emergency plans, auditing school security, and consulting with local law enforcement.
The committee is required to meet once per semester (fall and spring) as well as once in the summer, and should include, among others, “the president of the district’s board of trustees” and “a member of the district’s board of trustees other than the president.”
However, when Round Rock ISD’s School Safety and Security Committee met last week for its summer meeting, both Board of Trustees President Amber Feller and appointed representative Trustee Amy Weir fail to attend. Additionally, the committee failed to meet at all earlier this spring. Both Feller and Weir also failed to attend the fall 2021 meeting.
“How can parents have confidence that our students are safe in RRISD schools when the one committee assigned to keeping them safe is not meeting regularly and is not attended by the required members?” asked district parent Christie Slape.
Additionally, Slape said she was “disappointed to learn that in the 2018 bond money was allocated for securing classroom doors for safety, but it was revealed that now in 2022, only 10 to 15 percent of the classroom doors are fitted with ‘Columbine locks,’ which the bond was supposed to pay for.”
The referenced $508.4 million bond allotted $29.8 million to “Safety and Security,” which was supposed to “Install Intruder locks that allow classrooms to be secured without leaving the classroom.” However, according to the committee, the project was not completed.
“It seems to me that the safety and security of students is not a priority at Round Rock ISD at this time,” Slape added.
Amber Feller and Amy Weir, as well as fellow Trustees Cory Vessa and Tiffanie Harrison will be up for reelection in November.
The committee situation is only the most recent incident in a year-long saga in the district, which included three separate investigations into the district and the superintendent, a judge’s permanent restraining order against him, and five of the seven school board members covering up his alleged violence and eventually reinstating him. The recent events in Round Rock made national headlines and Texas Scorecard documented the scandals in a recent special report and Exposed, an exclusive podcast series.
Concerned citizens may contact their local school district for information on the School Safety and Security Committee meetings and what they are doing to protect Texas kids.