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Houston ISD Considers Metal Detectors in Schools After Student Dies In Shooting

The district has not committed to any significant upgrades, similar to the response after the Santa Fe High School shooting in 2018.

Administrators in Houston ISD are considering the addition of metal detectors at middle and high schools in the wake of an on-campus shooting that claimed the life of a student, according to Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan.

Lathan wrote in a blog post on Tuesday that she is planning to meet with students at Bellaire High School, where the shooting between two students took place, to hear their concerns about school safety. In addition, she committed to meeting with “student representatives” from local high schools and community members on a recurring basis to hear out their thoughts on security.

“These meetings, along with reconvening safety and security council committees on every campus, will be a catalyst for increased vigilance and preventative measures in our schools,” Lathan wrote.

In addition to those meetings, Lathan said the district is assessing middle and high schools to see if metal detectors would be an effective way to screen people as they enter campuses. The Houston Chronicle noted that HISD officials have not committed to any widespread security changes, and that the district did not upgrade security significantly after the Santa Fe High School shooting in 2018.

The Jan. 14 shooting led to the death of 19-year-old senior Cesar Cortes, who was killed by a classmate who he considered a friend. The 16-year-old suspect faces a manslaughter charge in the case, which prosecutors said was accidental.

Lathan noted that crisis counselors are still available to Bellaire students and staff, and that additional HISD police officers and administrative personnel are on hand to help out with the aftermath of the incident.

“The district is committed to vigilantly protecting students and staff at our schools,” she wrote. “HISD will continue to evaluate our security measures, as we regularly do, in order to maximize the safety of our children and staff.”

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.