In keeping with the promise to keep campus safe, Sharyland ISD renewed an agreement for on-site police officers and awarded a contract for security guard services.
In June, Sharyland ISD held a public meeting to discuss security and safety in the district. They heard feedback from community members, and at the June school board meeting, trustees authorized the superintendent to bring purchases to the board to prepare for the start of the new school year.
“Authorization is supposed to include, basically, whatever it takes to make our schools safer, certainly, in a better way than they are now,” Administrator Ricky Longoria said at the June meeting. . “[It’s] to ensure the safety and security of our children, and also to include, but not be limited to, ensuring that we have armed guards on every elementary school campus.
At the July 25 school board meeting, school trustees renewed an agreement with the City of Mission for six Educational Resource Officers for the 2022-2023 school year. The Mission Police Department provides the officers for all branch campuses. SISD hired the officers to work 179 days for $393,558.59. Payment for services will come from local funds.
Although the district has campuses in Mission and McAllen, only Mission PD can provide onsite agents.
“Dr. Vidaurri and I had a meeting with the McAllen Police Chief and at this point they were very adamant that they could not provide us with school resource officers,” the principal said. maintenance and operations executive, Mark Dougherty “…we have also reached out, in the past, to our constables and they are also feeling a bit of pressure giving us resource officers at this time.”
The board also awarded a contract with MLG Protection Services based at the mission for a one-year term with an option to renew for two additional one-year terms. The rate is $16 per hour per unarmed guard and $16.50 per hour per armed guard.
Eight companies submitted bids to work with the district, and MLG ranked near the middle for cost. Despite companies with cheaper hourly rates, the administration felt that MLG was the best choice due to its experience. According to an administration chart provided at the meeting, MLG worked with Hidalgo ISD, RGV College and Mercedes ISD.
“With everything going on, we felt it was necessary to have a company that had previous school experience because everything changed and continues to change every day,” Dougherty said.
In the wake of the CISD Uvalde mass shooting in May, Texas educators strategized to prevent a school shooting on their campuses while Texas lawmakers continued to to loosen gun laws in recent years. Executive Director Dr. Daniel King of the Region 1 Educational Service Center said school districts had no choice but to take matters into their own hands.
“As these debates unfold in the halls of Congress and the state legislature and throughout the community,” King said, “out there in the schools, everyone has to figure out how to improve with what we have. And that’s what’s on everyone’s mind right now.