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Dallas ISD Increases Security Measures Following Shooting at High School Basketball Game

The district is banning bags at games for the next week and considering the addition of weapons detection devices at event entrances.

The Dallas Independent School District has announced an increase in security measures following a shooting during a high school basketball game in the southern part of the city.

A game between South Oak Cliff and Kimball high schools on Saturday night erupted into chaos when shots rang out during the third quarter, sending hundreds of spectators fleeing the venue. Dallas ISD officers were escorting a group that was beginning to fight near a concession stand when a 15-year-old student took out a gun and began to shoot, according to NBC DFW.

The shooting, which took place just hours after the new South Oak Cliff High School was officially opened, wounded an 18-year-old former Dallas ISD student involved in the fight and a veteran school police officer. The officer was grazed in the shoulder and quickly released from the hospital, while the student was critically injured.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa ultimately decided to allow the two high schools to finish their game on Monday afternoon with increased security measures. In addition, Hinojosa said that all bags, purses and backpacks will be banned from sporting events this week only. After that, the district’s clear-bag policy already in place will be reinstated.

“This was an incident that has spilled over from the community, but we cannot absolve our responsibility because it happened on our watch, on our property,” Hinojosa said, according to NBC DFW.

Read More: How Districts Are Addressing A Growing, Underreported Threat: Shootings at School Sporting Events

While no metal detectors will be added, attendees will be checked by security guards using metal-detecting wands, according to NBC DFW. Metal detectors are usually on hand at football games.

In addition, Dallas ISD is exploring other measures, like “decentralizing” where games are played, meaning games will be played at either teams’ gyms instead of a neutral location like Davis Field House, where the South Oak Cliff-Kimball game was played.

Dallas ISD officials are also considering the addition of weapon detection devices and developing a task force to address school violence.

At a news conference, Hinojosa said the issue has gotten worse in recent years. Shootings and other violence at after-school events, particularly football and basketball games, have been on the rise nationwide, causing districts to evaluate how to address community violence within schools.

"What's really disappointing to me is that the public schools, in my personal history [of being a student, teacher and superintendent], there was kind of this truce," Hinojosa said, according to WFAA. "The truce is that those activities happen off-campus. Well, that truce is now over because it now spilled over onto our campus, which makes this much more difficult."