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Argyle sets school security forum

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

The Argyle school district will host an open forum about security at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Argyle High School auditorium.

Superintendent Telena Wright said the security discussion will be two-fold.

First, it will look at security courses of action such as arming district staff, hiring a school resource officer or armed security guards and increasing security with upgrades to district facilities. Second, the discussion will be an opportunity for the public to offer input on the courses of action presented, she said.

“Providing a safe and secure learning environment for the students is of paramount importance,” Wright said. “I would like everyone who’s a parent, community member or staff person to feel welcome and encouraged to attend.”

She said those in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting can expect to see the common vulnerabilities of the district, what was learned from a recent risk assessment of Argyle facilities and recommended courses of action for enhancing security.

This information was shared with the school board and Wright on April 1, and with each campus principal on April 17, Wright said. The campus assessments were also discussed with campus principals and Wright on March 28, she said.

Risk assessments at the campuses were conducted Feb. 25-27.

Wright said the district does not have a school resource officer, as many other districts do. The district hires Argyle police and constables only for some events and travel.

The district hired Craft International LLC, of Dallas on Jan. 29 to conduct a risk assessment known as “Not On My Watch” of all its facilities.

The group was founded by Chris Kyle, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and a man known by many to be the most lethal sniper in American history. Just four days after the district hired Craft International, Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were fatally shot at a gun range in Glen Rose by a veteran they were attempting to help, authorities have said.

District officials say Craft International will give a presentation and offer recommended courses of action.

Greg Coker, who will make the presentation for Craft International on Wednesday, said he intends to give an overview on what his group offers and why.

The presentation also will look at statistics of school shootings.

The purpose of the presentation is to educate people on capabilities to ensure school safety of students and faculty and also offer courses of action for ensuring safety, Coker said.

The district began to look at ways of being proactive in protecting students and making district facilities safe after the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 elementary school students and six employees were killed in December.

Last December, the Argyle school board called for an independent study and audit of district safety procedures.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.