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8 North Texas School Districts Out of Safety Compliance: AG Abbott

By Frank Heinz
|  Monday, Dec 17, 2012  |  Updated 11:14 PM CDT
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Education Commissioner Talks About School Security

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Education Commissioner Talks About School Security

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams was in North Texas looking at emergency operation plans at schools.
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In the wake of last week's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is calling on 78 Texas school districts to bring school safety measures into compliance.

In a news release Monday, Abbott said 38 school districts in Texas did not report their school safety plan and another 40 did not meet reporting requirements.

Eight of the 38 districts that did not report are in North Texas: Crandall, Iredell, Italy, Kennedale, Leonard, Melissa, Milford and Tioga ISDs.

Milford school district Superintendent Don Clingenpeel told NBC 5 that he does not know how his district got on the list.

"Milford ISD security audit has been completed and is up to date," he said. "We will contact the Attorney General's Office in the morning to see why we are on the list."

The Crandall school district also told NBC 5 that it should not be on the attorney general's list. The district said by fax that it had turned in its paperwork this year and presented it to board members and parents at a school board meeting in August 2011.

“Proper preparedness and safety in our schools is not just an exercise, it will save lives when seconds count,” said Abbott, who is a board member of the Texas School Safety Center. “As we all mourn the horrific loss of innocent lives in Newtown, we must ensure that not another minute passes where Texas school districts are unprepared for an incident in our own state. My office will continue working with the Texas School Safety Center to ensure that every school district across this state has an effective school safety plan in place.”

The Texas Education Code requires that Texas public schools conduct safety audits once every three years. By requiring regular audits and emergency procedure practice sessions, schools and local law enforcement will be better prepared to act, Abbot said in a news release.

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams was in North Texas to talk about school security Monday.

Williams said he's planning to meet with principals and superintendents throughout the state to talk about any security concerns or challenges they are facing in their districts.

The Texas School Safety Center was created in 1999, in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy in Colorado.

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