Santa Fe ISD parents prepare school safety list: 'We just want our kids to be safe'

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- A group of Santa Fe parents are preparing to bring their fight to improve school safety to a mid-June board meeting.

It's a battle they want to take because the nightmare isn't over.

"She's been sleeping in our room," one parent told Eyewitness News. "She just recently went back to her room but had a bad dream and came back in our room. She's shaken up."

Three weeks ago, 10 people were killed at Santa Fe High School. Ahead of the next school year, parents are taking action this summer.

"We just want our kids to be safe," one parent, who asked not to be identified, said. "Whatever needs to be done to get there."

For nearly two hours Sunday night, a group of about 30 parents and former students met at Runge Park.

At times it got contentious and heated.

Group leader Mark Bratcher says passion is a good thing.

"Emotions are high," Bratcher said. "This is the time to implement change before everyone gets complacent and goes back to their everyday life."

There are at least a dozen security improvements the group wants to see made.

They want better communication, metal detectors, emergency response training, bulletproof doors/windows, rule enforcement, securing doors, student IDs, anonymous reporting, watch program, drills, reporting and security camera monitoring.

The board said it is open to improvements.

This summer, the board is going to form a safety committee, made up of school and community members.

"We can't just say none of these are feasible because doing nothing is asinine," Bratcher said. "We need to do something."

It's a list of ideas some would like to see spread outside of Santa Fe.

"It hits home for me because this is my home," Santa Fe High School graduate Laura Mansfield said. "I don't live here any longer but it's significant. To think my nieces and nephews could go to school next year and this could happen to them. I can't allow that to happen."

Mansfield started an online campaign to spread a school safety message.

The Santa Fe High School graduate wants other districts to use their ideas.

"Schools need to be doing this today before school starts," Mansfield said. "It's summer, we have time now. The message needs to get out there to be proactive and implement safety before something like this happens because it can."

It's a reality Santa Fe parents know too well, which is why they're hoping improvements are made this summer to end an ongoing nightmare.

"If changes aren't made this summer then she will not go back to that school, and I will tell my message to other parents and tell them the same thing," a parent said.

A message parents tuned on Sunday to bring to the June 18 board meeting.
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