Seven panhandle school districts fail to file safety audits - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Seven panhandle school districts fail to file safety audits

AMARILLO, TX - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott released a list Monday of 38 school districts who did not file a safety audit as required by law last year.
Among the 38, were seven school districts in the panhandle; Bushland ISD, Claude ISD, Darrouzett ISD, River Road ISD, Samnorwood ISD, Shamrock ISD, and Wildorado ISD.
In 2005, the Texas legislature passed a law requiring all school districts to have a emergency operations plan and regularly practice it. The law also mandated that districts file safety audits to the Texas School Safety Center every three years.
"They're called audits, but they're actually on-going self-assessments," Victoria Calder, director of the Texas School Safety Center said. "You don't bring in an outside auditor. We train them in what to look for, in knowing how to identify hazards, threats and vulnerabilities in their surrounding facilities and communities and the districts audit themselves."
40 of the school districts that did file audits, reported that they did not meet full compliance with the law.
"While we are saddened by the tragedy in Newtown, we can't let another second tick by without getting school districts prepared to encounter the same type of situation in our state," Abbott said in a press release. " My office will continue working with the Texas Safety School Center to ensure that every school district across this state has an effective school safety plan in place."
The Texas School Safety Center was created after the Columbine school shooting in 1999. They offer free guidelines, and training for school districts and first responders.
"Lessons learned will emerge from this," Calder said. "If anything good can come out of this tragedy, it's the lessons learned going forward that can save other lives and certainly many lessons were learned at Columbine."
Calder says school officials will be able to contact the safety center for information throughout the winter break.
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