Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is encouraging schools to improve emergency plans. He estimates that about half of schools have some type of plan in place. Houston Public Radio’s Capella Tucker reports.
The Attorney General would also like schools to practice their emergency plans more often. Currently state law requires schools to do emergency drills every three years. Abbott says it should be done more frequently.
“We believe that over the course of three years those plans can become stale. In order to ensure the safety and security of their students, schools should update these plans each and every year.”
Abbott is also encouraging campus crime stopper programs which could cost several million dollars state wide. The Houston Independent School District has such a program. Police Chief Charles Wiley says tragedies such as 9/11 and Columbine have affected the students’ attitudes.
“They also became more security conscious and more inclined to call our student tip line or crime stoppers with anonymous tips. We had 1,110 crime stopper tips between 2000 and 2007 with 335 of those tips that were successful for us in terms of clearing those cases. We awarded over $56,000 in that same time period.”
Wiley says no lock-down drills have been conducted this year, but the last half of last school year, HISD police were involved in four lock-down drills. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.