TEA orders school districts to perform safety audits

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 7/7/22

The Texas Education Agency and Texas School Safety Center have ordered all Texas school districts to complete safety audits by Sept. 1.

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TEA orders school districts to perform safety audits

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The Texas Education Agency and Texas School Safety Center have ordered all Texas school districts to complete safety audits by Sept. 1.

The audits are being sought as state leaders continue their response to the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Responses are due back to the state by Sept. 9.

Districts such as Katy are to conduct what the agencies are calling a summer targeted partial survey audit. The audit, agency leaders wrote, is a limited scope version of the Texas School Safety Center’s School Safety and Security Audit.

“The safety and well-being of all Katy ISD students and staff are of the utmost importance on each of our campuses,” the district said in a statement to the Katy Times. “Katy ISD implements all safety practices and guidelines recommended by the Texas School Safety Center. This includes mandatory safety drills and training, emergency operations plans for all campuses, as well as regular safety and security audits as required by the Texas Education Code.”

The partial audit has 47 questions, three of which deal with student population and type of facility. Twenty-four questions deal with campus policies and procedures for safety-related issues. These issues include controlling campus access, issuing campus keys and identification, and access control.

Policies and procedures address exterior doors, visitor procedures, and keys and identification. They address building interiors, monitoring and surveillance, school-based law enforcement and security issues. They also address emergency drills, reporting, staff and student training and referral resources.

The remaining 20 questions focus on observing and evaluating campus grounds. These issues address the grounds and building exterior, portable classrooms and other exterior buildings, cafeterias, buses and parking, building access, and building interior.

The survey asks officials to verify that all instructional rooms are locked when not in use. It also asks that security cameras are stationed inside and outside the school.

In a statement summarizing the requirements, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath and Texas School Safety Center Director Kathy Martinez-Prather wrote that they knew most schools in Texas are taking these actions, among others, to keep students and staff safe.

The agencies jointly issued these orders Thursday.

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