In a memo last week, Adam McGough, Dallas City Council member and chair of the public safety committee, asked for beefed-up security measures at local schools following the Uvalde mass shooting
. The committee will discuss some school safety recommendations with the Dallas Police Department at its meeting today.
“Regardless of federal gun laws and without adequate mental health resources, cities and school districts must step up to control what we can to protect the most vulnerable parts of our community, our kids,” McGough said in the memo. “As with all government action, we must balance our freedoms with necessary protective measures.”
, 18, killed 19 children and two teachers last month when he opened fire at Robb Elementary in Uvlade. Just days before the shooting, Ramos legally bought the rifle used to carry out the attack.
McGough said the Dallas Independent School District has its own police department, but that every district has different ways of addressing safety. McGough wants some safety measures to be uniform across all schools in the city, which includes more than just DISD. Campuses from Richardson, Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Duncanville school districts also sit in the city.
One thing McGough thinks every school needs is its own resource officer. These officers are responsible for school security, scenario prevention and response, safety training, social media monitoring and building relationships with their communities.
Some schools in McGough’s part of town belong to Richardson Independent School District, which doesn’t have its own police department. According to his memo, over 60% of Richardson ISD students live in Dallas. So, McGough thinks they should consider what it would take to form a police department for the district.
He also wants a safety audit of every school in the city, a volunteer program for parents and for schools to be shut down when they’re being used as voting locations in local elections. Richardson ISD already does some of the things McGough has recommended, like closing down schools when they’re used as voting locations and trying to spot early warning signs of potential threats, according to The Dallas Morning News
Casey Boland, a Richardson ISD teacher, told the Observer
McGough has done a lot to help beef up security at Richardson ISD schools. “He is one of the reasons we have all of the security in place – SROs, locked doors, single entry, cameras, etc.,” Boland said.
There’s not a lot the City Council could do to restrict gun sales locally, but Boland said this is the more prevalent issue around school safety.
“My view is the schools are as safe as they can be, unless the killer has AR type weapons,” Boland said. “So, shoring up what is already in place, and checking to make sure those protocols are intact are fine ideas. But, they won’t solve the problem, which is too easy, too young access to those types of weapons.”
This month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Our Kids Act, according to CNBC
, which would raise the legal minimum age for purchasing a gun from 18 to 21 years old. The bill would also ban the sale of large capacity magazines and implement new at-home gun storage rules.