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.