HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In efforts to better protect students and teachers after the shooting in Uvalde, Houston ISD trustees passed a motion that will allow more than $2 million to purchase weapons for the district's police officers.
HISD is the largest school district in the area, and many parents are concerned after the Uvalde school shooting.
Thursday's meeting was an emotional debate on what was best to do for the safety of students, teachers, and staff.
Although the motion passed in a 6 to 3 vote, not all members agreed on the motion. But other members said they didn't want to delay the vote.
"We have to be able to take emotions out of this decision," trustee Kendall Baker said. "We don't have time to waste."
With the approval of this decision, Superintendent Millard House II said he believes the district will be as prepared as it can be if faced with an active shooter situation. The funding would go toward the purchase of rifles, ballistic shields, bulletproof vests, and ammunition for the district's police department.
"I mentioned last week we're not increasing the number of guns that we have for a particular reason," House said during the meeting. "The bigger issue here is assuring that (officers) have all of the tools possible so that they can be as safe as possible and provide the kind of safety that we want them to provide for our campuses."
While some trustees expressed concerns about officers having these weapons on campuses, HISD's Police Chief Pete Lopez told ABC13 they will enact strict policies and procedures to make sure the rifles are brought out during an active shooter event or actual emergency.
"The equipment we purchase that the board approved is mainly for active shooter incidents," Lopez said. "Officers are not going to be walking around campuses with rifles slung across their back or their shoulders, or carrying shields."
In addition to working to equip their police officers, HISD said they have altered perimeter fences on campuses and beefed up their security camera system. They are also in the process of doing exterior door checks, which will be done weekly throughout the school year.