‘We’re Not Playing Around’: Texas School District Security Upgrades Include AR-15s and Tracking IDs

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One school district is going above and beyond in the name of security. Guards will be armed with AR-15s, and the school will use facial recognition technology to monitor everyone coming into the building. Even students will be tracked with the help of RF chip technology, all in an attempt to become the nation’s safest school system.

The extraordinary measures, according to a report by Fox News, are based on ideas from a former Secret Service agent, who is drawing on his expertise to develop a highly ambitious security plan for schools in the Lone Star state.

“We’re not playing around,” said Rodney Cavness, the Texas City Independent School District superintendent of schools. “This isn’t some kind of little game to us. We put a lot of time, money, and effort into this.”

Last year, district officials decided to take action after the shooting at Santa Fe High School nearby. The shooting happened just minutes away from Texas City, and 10 people lost their lives.

“I think we’re living in a sick society, and there are some very deeply troubled people out there that want to do harm to kids and to campuses and to teachers, and we’re not going to let that happen,” Cavness asserted.

Cavness hired Mike Matranga, a Secret Service agent with 12 years of experience in that role, for a newly created position focused on school safety and security.

Some measures are already in place. Staff and students carry radio frequency ID cards, allowing their whereabouts to be tracked while they are on campus. Glass doors have been lined with intrusion filming, making them resistant to impacts.

“What we’re trying to do is buy time, and by buying time and by having a deputy on campus or multiple deputies on campus, that time allows our deputies to respond and do their job,” Matranga stated.

Deputies in each school also receive AR-15s, all of which are kept in a safe that requires a code for access.

“These are the weapons we purchased for our deputies,” said Matranga. “I’m a firm believer that we fight firepower with superior firepower.”

Texas City voters approved a bond measure for a $6.5 million bond to increase safety and security in schools.

“I would vote for anything in favor of protecting my children,” said Justin Graves, a parent who has a child attending classes at Heights Elementary School.

“I’m in support of the security measures they implemented. It gives me a sense of security,” said Trisha Jones, another parent who also has children at the school.