Humble ISD supplying teachers with ballistic shields in wake of recent school shootings in Texas

ByShannon Ryan KTRK logo
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Ballistic shields to be provided to Humble ISD teachers
In the wake of recent school shootings in Texas, here's how one district will be arming its teachers to "delay or evade the attacker until police officers intervene."

HUMBLE, Texas (KTRK) -- Humble ISD is supplying teachers with ballistic shields to use in the event of a school shooting.

A letter sent to parents and staff on behalf of the district stated that teachers may use the shields to "delay or evade the attacker until police officers intervene."

Everytown research indicates there have been at least 30 instances of gunfire on school grounds in the United States this year, resulting in eight deaths and 23 injuries. This week, there were school shootings in Dallas, Arlington, and Denver.

On Wednesday, a student brought a gun to Humble Middle School. In a letter to parents shared with ABC13, Humble Middle School Principal Jerrell Barron wrote, "The student who brought the gun shared with campus administrators that a threatening post from another student caused him to fear for his safety."

"Every day, I send my daughter to school, and she gets out of the car, and she's walking into the schoolhouse. I worry about (a school shooting)," Humble ISD parent Adrian Hobley said.

Barron said the middle schooler accused of bringing a gun to school faces a felony possession of a prohibited weapon charge. He encouraged anyone with concerns to contact Humble ISD Police at 281-641-7900.

The agency is in charge of training teachers on how to use the ballistic shields. The district writes that "teachers were given the opportunity to choose to have a shield in their classroom and to sign up and complete training."

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"We can't expect someone that doesn't agree to be that person to be that person," retired chief of the Texas Rangers and head of PPI Security, Tony Leal, said.

Leal said he overall supports the shields. "I think anything you give somebody to protect themselves in a defensive manner is not a bad thing." He told ABC13 he would like to see more energy directed to preventing mass shootings than preparing for them.

"I think that the teachers' focus really needs to be on teaching the kids, not necessarily having to worry about protecting them from school shooters," Hobley said.

Jamie Mount, the district's chief communications officer, declined to provide additional information on the shields citing safety concerns.

"Humble ISD does not share specific details regarding matters of student safety because doing so may make information publicly available and ultimately help someone who is planning to make a horrible choice that could negatively impact our students and staff," Mount wrote.

ABC13 visited Steve Naremore, founder of Houston-based Tuffy Packs, to better understand ballistic shields in schools. The company, which is not affiliated with Humble ISD, manufactures ballistic inserts for backpacks. Naremore founded the company following conversations with his daughter, a school teacher.

"She's doing an incredible number of these active shooter drills in her school," he said.