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Uvalde shooting puts school security in the spotlight

Uvalde shooting puts school security in the spotlight
Uvalde shooting puts school security in the spotlight 02:16

UVALDE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The tragedy in Uvalde has put school security in the spotlight. 

Several unanswered questions remain about why the school resource officer wasn't there and why a teacher left the door the gunman would later use to get into the school open. 

Not every school district in Texas has school resource officers, but after this tragedy in Uvalde, many districts may rethink their plans as they reconsider their safety protocols.

"There's been so many changes to school safety. Obviously, Columbine changed the way that we've done things. Each time we're going to get better and we have to get better," said Lynelle Sparks, Executive Director for the Texas Association of School Resource Officers.

Sparks said the goal is to make sure everyone in a school building is protected. "At the end of the day we want our staff to be safe, we want our students to be safe. Everybody deserves to feel safe."

But when tragedies like Uvalde happens, the conversations turns to how can we stop this from ever happening again. 

"In the society that we are living in today, it's no longer [just] law enforcement; everyone plays a key part in this," added Sparks. 

That's where she said training comes in. 

"A lot of that training comes in the summer... but it's never enough. I always tell them, 'I need more time than an hour.' I need to be able to teach these teachers how can you barricade yourself in a room if you have to," said Sparks. 

According to Uvalde CISD's preventive security measures, in addition to the district's chief and detective, each school should have two officers. 

However, SROs cost money -- money not every district can afford. Uvalde only has six officers for its eight campuses. 

Like many other smaller districts, Sparks said, they typically put those officers where the older students are. "A lot of school districts have officers in just junior and high school because they think oh that mainly where the threat is, but we leave our little babies unprotected."

But, she added, "If we are not able to get a school resource officer even for the smaller communities, we need to be able to give them some kind of safety." 

For the upcoming session, Sparks told CBS 11 News they will ask lawmakers for more money so school districts can hire more SROs for the upcoming school year. 


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