HISD exploring metal detectors, other security measures in wake of Bellaire shooting

Bellaire High School
Houston ISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan met with student leaders at Bellaire High School to discuss their concerns with school safety on Jan. 23. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

Houston ISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan met with student leaders at Bellaire High School to discuss their concerns with school safety on Jan. 23. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

Houston ISD is prepared to deploy metal detectors in some schools as early as the next few months, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan told reporters Thursday after a meeting with student leaders at Bellaire High School, where a student was killed Jan. 14.

"We've already secured the information we need to move forward," Lathan said.

A group of 10-20 schools have been identified as potentially being the first to receive detectors based on the number of incidents involving weapons or contraband, HISD Police Chief Paul Cordova said. The district is looking at eventually deploying them to all middle and high schools. Lathan said she will also begin having recurring meetings with high school principals about school safety concerns.

Before the district moves forward, Lathan said she would meet with community leaders in the coming weeks to discuss security as well as mental health resources. The board of trustees would also need to weigh in and approve a budget allocation.

The district is also considering a clear backpack policy and is asking all campuses to submit security reviews no later than Jan. 31.

At the press conference, Lathan reminded asked students to continue reporting security concerns through the Sandy Hook "Say Something" mobile app or by contacting HISD police, which can be made anonymously. They also reminded gun owners to keep their weapons safe and secured, and that they could be held criminally liable if their child is found to have access to their weapon by failing to secure it.

"The overwhelming majority of cases that we're finding where guns are coming on campus, we're finding out that they originated at the home," Cordova said.
By Matt Dulin
Matt joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2018 and is the City Editor for Houston's Inner Loop editions.


Pfizer vaccines could become available to kids 12 and up as soon as next week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
FDA expands Pfizer vaccine authorization to children ages 12 to 15 years old

This is the first time people under the age of 16 have been granted access to a coronavirus vaccine.

The deadline is May 17 for residents to protest their appraised property values set by the Harris County Appraisal District earlier this year, and officials are encouraging protesters to take online options into account. (Courtesy Pexels)
Harris County residents have until May 17 to protest property values

High demand for residential properties along with a shrinking inventory of homes translated into a roughly 8%-10% increase in residential values on average across the county this year

The name of Baileson Brewing Co. on Bissonnet Street in Houston was concocted by merging the names of the owners' dogs, Bailey and Jameson. Their influence shapes the brewery, from the logo to the dog-friendly atmosphere. (Courtesy Baileson Brewing Co.)
Craft Beer Guide: 13 places to celebrate American Craft Beer Week in Houston

Craft beer week runs from May 10-15, and our guide fills you in on the local breweries in Houston, including which ones are dog-friendly, which ones have in-house kitchens and which ones have outdoor seating.

ExxonMobil moved employees from its Springwoods Village campus to a Hughes Landing to cure a default on a Montgomery County tax abatement. (Courtesy ExxonMobil)
ExxonMobil resolves tax abatement default; Home Depot distribution center taking over superfund site; and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic college in Houston. It also has a microcampus in downtown Conroe. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of St. Thomas offering free tuition to first 500 students who apply

The online degrees are in the following fields: cybersecurity, network technology, electronic technology, general business, and alcohol and drug dependency counseling.

houston firefighters rally
Appeals court rules in favor Houston firefighters in collective bargaining case

The 14th Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the fire union in a case that originated when the city and the union failed to reach an agreement on a labor contract in 2017.

The Texas Department of State Health Services projects a significant shortage of nurses by 2032. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Why Texas faces a growing nursing shortage and what can be done to address it

In 2018, the state health department estimated about 11% of the demand for nurses was not able to be met, and that number is expected to rise to 16.3% by 2032.

I-69 Southwest Freeway at I-610 West Loop will be closed May 7 at 9 p.m. until May 10 at 5 a.m. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
TxDOT: I-69 Southwest Freeway at I-610 West Loop closed through weekend

From May 7 at 9 p.m. until May 10 at 5 a.m., the lanes will be closed.

Legacy Community Health is bringing COVID-19 vaccines to historically underserved communities across Beaumont and Houston. (Courtesy Pexels)
Legacy Community Health vaccine rollout targets underserved communities in Houston, Beaumont

The health network is partnering with other entities, including Beaumont Independent School District.

Houston, Harris County annual addresses no longer hosted by Greater Houston Partnership over Texas voter bill dispute

Local leaders criticized the area chamber of commerce for not taking a definitive stance on two voting access bills currently being deliberated in the Texas Legislature.