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.