ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — After shots rang out at a high school in Arlington Wednesday, officials at Wylie Independent School District say they’re highly trained to deal with any potential school shooting threat.
School safety has been on the forefront since Sandy Hook in 2012, but since 2018 in Santa Fe, governor Greg Abbott’s programs went through Senate Bill-11 legislation, which really emphasized all facets of school safety.
Wylie School District Assistant Superintendent Craig Bessent says it’s never a good situation when shots are fired inside a school.
“It’s a sad day, we hate for anytime there’s a tragedy like this and even with the best intentions, sometimes things slip through the cracks,” said Bessent.
Bessent, also chairman of Texas School Safety Center, helped Wylie ISD put in place one of the first school marshal programs in the country, providing special training to undisclosed faculty and staff who are armed and ready to protect students against threats.
“I think our parents just have to know that we work on this every day, all day long. That’s what we do, we have people that that’s their job. Our staff is highly trained, our administration is highly trained in school safety,” Bessent says.
He says their ultimate goal in keeping students safe at Wylie ISD is to, “find those students that are having problems, those issues, and stop them before they get to this. Because this affects those kids the rest of their lives and that’s our job is to try and find that.”
If there ever was a sticky situation, Bessent preaches “if you see something, say something,” because you never know what can be prevented with the right information.
“We’ll reevaluate everything we have and make sure we have all our safeguards in place and work hard to hopefully make sure this will never happen in our district,” said Bessent.
Big Country school districts have annual training on behavior threat assessments and advanced training to prepare teachers, administrators, and employees to be ready to handle hazardous situations.
Since the beginning of 2021, there have been 21 school shootings.