Fort Worth Independent School District elementary schools are seeing a new initiative that will address safety issues, a problem that has yet to be remedied. While middle and high schools have officers assisting in the security of the institution, the younger age range of students, which stretches to 80 elementary schools, will now have off-duty Fort Worth police officers that have been chosen almost one by one by the non-profit organization Texans Against School Violence (TAVS). Parents at Tanglewood Elementary and the community all agree that these police officers bring solidarity in their presence, fostering a safer environment for the children and teachers.
The founder and president of TAVS, Amber Spurgeon, mentioned that their agenda, initially established by a group of concerned parents, saw a disturbing safety gap in elementary schools within the state that offered urgent attention. With privately funded efforts, their project to station an officer for almost every school is underway. They have already enlisted ten off-duty Fort Worth police officers, offering thorough training on safety management while building an engaging relationship with students and staff.
TAVS aims to build relationships with the children by appointing officers as confidants that are there to feed the growth of the students intellectually and emotionally, without being disciplinarians. To provide a well-rounded approach to student safety, community, and curriculum, Deputy Chief Buck Wheeler has served as an advisor for TAVS to develop a robust curriculum for students to follow. Their program has won the hearts of many, and other schools and communities are looking to them as an example.
Texan lawmakers are supporting a bill that increase school security funding, such as House Bill 3, which requires every Texas school to have armed security measures. TAVS is thrilled that lawmakers are gradually taking steps to ensure that Texas lawmakers prioritize school safety. Alongside the bill, the organization is advocating for cost adjustments based on pilot programs, hoping that their pilot project cost will get some consideration.
TAVS’s model program will act as a mode for the State of Texas. Parents and the community hope that similar initiatives will soon take shape to curb safety threats to young children in schools. Children need protection and nurturing, and TAVS and their initiative have shown that everyone can contribute their quota. The critical issue here is school safety, but TAVS aims to reduce the financial burden and offer feasible solutions that will secure elementary schools’ safety finally.