Comal County parents push for trained, armed guardians to protect schools

This guardian program does not aim to arm staff, rather outside trained personnel

A New Braunfels parent wants to take matters into his own hands and have an armed guardian in every New Braunfels and Comal ISD school.

COMAL COUNTY – The topic of school safety is at the forefront this school year.

A New Braunfels parent wants to take matters into his own hands and have an armed guardian in every New Braunfels and Comal ISD school.

“When the rubber meets the road, somebody rams their vehicle into a building or infiltrates a security or a door is left unlocked, my guardian will be there,” Alex Szinnyey, founder of the school guardian initiative program, said. “Most schools are, you know, unprotected or minimally protected, you know, and, and are subject to the response time and response and the quality of officer that, that’s going to show up.”

Szinnyey comes from a military-trained background. School safety has been on his mind for years but the shooting at Robb Elementary made him get serious about coming up with his own safety plan.

“The proposal I made up is basically to put one highly-trained and very thoroughly vetted individual in every school,” Szinnyey said.

“We’ve been having the highest quality of people already reaching out to me saying, ‘I will quit my job. I will get out of the military early to come do this because it’s something I believe in,’” Szinnyey said.

Right now, Comal ISD has 15 school resource officers and New Braunfels ISD has five.

Szinnyey doesn’t think this is sufficient when it comes to protecting kids from an active shooter.

“It’s more of an issue of there’s not enough officers to be in every school,” Szinnyey said.

“We’re making contact with these kids and with these teachers before they even have a problem,” Jeff Foley, president of the Texas Association of School Resource Officers, said.

Foley said SROs are there to form relationships with students and deter any kind of illegal or violent activity.

Szinnyey’s guardians will have a specific role.

“We won’t interfere in policy enforcement dress code. That’s not, that’s not what we’ll be doing. Everybody will know that that guardian is there to guard children in the event that the absolute worst happens,” Szinnyey said.

Szinnyey estimates the operating costs would be 1% of the district’s total budget.

“I think right around three and a half million yearly operating costs, which sounds like a lot, but that puts a person in every single school,” Szinnyey said.

He says at this point, neither district is picking up his guardian program proposal, but he’s not going to stop pushing the school boards to do more to keep kids safe.

“This program takes away all of that variability to who is going to show up to one of these events,” Szinnyey said.

Neither Comal ISD nor New Braunfels ISD responded to KSAT 12′s email requests for comment on this story.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.