Adam McGough, councilman for District 10, is calling for changes in Richardson ISD schools to increase student safety after the mass shooting in Uvalde. His 7-point School Safety Action Plan, sent to City Manager T.C. Broadnax and RISD Interim Superintendent Tabitha Branum this week, calls for a designated police officer in every school building in the city.

“It is time for action. We cannot accept the pain and fear that permeates our communities with the infiltration of violence and evil in our schools,” wrote McGough. “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 notes that children who live in Dallas and attend Lake Highlands-area schools fall in a jurisdictional gap – they aren’t protected by Dallas ISD’s police department. More than 60% of RISD students live in Dallas, and multiple agencies share crossover responsibilities for public safety including officers from DPD, DART, Dallas College, Dallas County and Richardson.

“Action and collaboration between the City of Dallas and Richardson ISD” are required, he stressed.

McGough’s plan calls for:

  • Expansion of the SRO (school resource officer) program to ensure every school in the City of Dallas has a designated officer responsible for school security, scenario prevention and response, safety training, social-media monitoring and relationship building;
  • Creation of a Richardson ISD Police Department responsible for all safety and security issues and collaboration with partner law enforcement agencies;
  • Completion of a safety audit of every school including appropriate school hardening measures, the use of technology and cameras, quick communication with DPD along with appropriate protocols and other safety enhancements, including the need for additional lights, fencing and design enhancements;
  • Establishment of early-warning and red-flag systems to identify potential problems, specifically, around monitoring social media and anonymous reporting;
  • Establishment of a Volunteers in Patrol (VIP) program to identify and train parents, partner with violence interrupters and ensure VIPs and parents are included in active-shooter training and prevention;
  • Working with the Dallas County Elections Department to find new polling locations that do not open our schools to the general public at any time when school is in session; and
  • Analysis of lessons learned from every past tragic school incident and present measures taken to address known weaknesses or areas of concern.

A day after the Uvalde shooting, Berkner High School was put on lockdown when a student was found to have a real gun and a replica rifle in his car parked near the campus. Police gave credit for quick arrest of the student to someone who reported him to authorities. Superintendent Branum has requested a third-party safety audit of the district’s schools, buildings, plans and protocols.