Texas’ largest school district, the Houston Independent School District (ISD), voted Thursday to spend over $2 million to immediately increase safety resources provided to school officers.
Houston ISD school board voted 6 to 3 to give HISD’s police department an extra $2.3 million in weapons and other safety equipment to help prepare and respond to potential active shooter situations, Fox 26 reported.
Superintendent of Houston ISD Millard House previously warned that the school system’s police department is not prepared for a potential active shooter inside one of the district’s schools, Fox 26 noted.
House said for the HISD police department to be ready for a future active shooter, it needed the extra equipment, which includes an additional 200 rifles, shields and ammunition, according to the outlet.
“It is not about militarizing our campuses,” House said. “It is about being prepared for the most difficult situations.”
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HISD Police Chief Pedro Lopez Jr. said he is more confident his officers will respond correctly during a school shooting crisis once the department receives the extra weapons and ballistic plates, Fox 26 reported. (RELATED: Video Shows Heavily Armed Officers Waiting Over An Hour In The Hallway As Uvalde Shooter Murdered Teachers And Kids)
He said the millions of dollars in new rifles and other resources will be purchased immediately, according to the outlet.
Equal Justice Works fellow with the Texas Civil Rights Project, Travis Fife, opposed the motion during public comment Thursday, telling HISD officials that the district should fund teachers, not weapons.
“The time is to invest in those community-based alternatives to policing that make students feel connected,” Fife told the board, according to Fox 26. “Students are safest when they feel connected and have a genuine interest in the classrooms.”