A Good Beginning

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) wants random inspections of Texas’ schools focused on safety checks and protocols. In a letter of instruction, Abbott wrote Texas School Safety Center Director Kathy Martinez-Prather:

Your team should begin conducting in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits on school districts. Staff should approach campuses to find weak points and how quickly they can penetrate buildings without being stopped.

The inspections are intended to lead to a series of recommendations for legislation regarding security system improvements.

It’s a good start; although I would have thought such inspections already would have been de rigueur on individual school administrators’ initiative for some years, at least since the Columbine shooting.

Those inspections, though, need to go unpublicized at the individual school level, although results aggregated to the school district level should be readily available to the public.

The goal should be to help individual school administrators and school district administrators identify and correct weaknesses (as well as provide those legislative recommendations, which should center on systemic weaknesses) rather than to embarrass the administrators.

Of course, publicizing district aggregations of findings will tend to contradict that last, but here’s where the parents’ need, and right, to know must take precedence over administrator embarrassment. And parents aren’t stupid; they’ll recognize whether a district administrator takes prompt action to correct weaknesses or weasel words his way around them or otherwise blows them off.

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