Humble, Texas (KTRK) – Humble ISD supplies teachers with ballistic shields to use in the event of a school shooting.
A letter sent to parents and staff on behalf of the school district stated that teachers may use shields to “delay or evade the attacker until police officers intervene.”
Evertown Research indicates that there have been at least 30 schoolyard shootings in the United States this year, killing eight and wounding 23 others. This week, there have been school shootings in Dallas, Arlington, and Denver.
On Wednesday, a student brought a gun to Humble Middle School. In a letter to parents shared with ABC13, Humble Middle School Principal Jerrell Barron wrote, “The student who brought the gun shared with campus administrators that a threat from another student made him fear for his safety.”
“Every day, I send my daughter to school, she gets out of the car, and she’s on her way to school. I’m worried about (a school shooting),” said Adrienne Hobley, an ISD Humble Parent.
A middle school student accused of bringing a gun to school faces felony possession on a prohibited weapon charge, Barron said. Anyone with concerns is encouraged to contact Humble ISD Police at 281-641-7900.
The agency is responsible for training teachers on how to use ballistic shields. The county wrote that “teachers were given the opportunity to choose to have a shield in their classrooms and to register and complete training.”
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“We can’t expect someone who doesn’t agree to be that person to be that person,” said Tony Leal, retired Texas Rangers chief and PPI security chief.
Lyell said he supports shields in general. “I think anything you do for someone to protect themselves in a defensive way is not a bad thing.” He told ABC13 that he would like to see more energy channeled into preventing mass shootings than preparing for them.
“I think the focus of educators should be on educating children, not necessarily worrying about protecting them from school shooters,” Hobley said.
District Chief Communications Officer Jimmy Mount declined to provide additional information about the shields citing safety concerns.
“Modest ISD does not share specific details regarding student safety matters because doing so could make information publicly available and ultimately help someone planning to make a terrible choice that could negatively affect our students and staff,” Mount wrote.
ABC13 visited Steve Narrimore, founder of Houston-based Tuffy Packs, to better understand ballistic shields in schools. The company, which is not affiliated with Humble ISD, manufactures ballistic inserts for backpacks. Naremore founded the company after talks with his daughter, a schoolteacher.
“She does an incredible number of active shooter drills at her school,” he said.