Campus police officers are among those who’s jobs are on the line as Houston Independent School District (HISD) deals with a multimillion dollar gap in their operating budget.
At Thursday night’s board meeting, concerned community members and employees packed the venue; parents were reportedly very unsettled to hear about campus police potentially being laid off.
“Clearly we need safety on our campuses,” Tonya Knauth, whose two children are in HISD schools, said in an interview with KPRC. “There are priorities and that’s one of them.”
Currently, over 200 officers are on staff at HISD campuses. Some worry a drop in security staff could leave other campus staffers in trouble if something were to happen.
“Our concern is even the high schools, middle schools, when there are fights break out,” Hector Mirales, president of the union representing the majority of the support staff on HISD’s campuses, said. “If they’re short-staffed on officers at what expense are we going to show for the children in the schools?”
As of this writing, the board has not made any final decision yet on whether to cut staff, or in what areas to make cuts.
The HISD official Twitter account quoted the HISD board president as saying any staffing cuts “have to be humane” and “take into consideration doing the least harm to children” before the board announced it would postpone a decision on staffing cuts to next month.