AUSTIN, TEXAS – Today, Representative Bryan Slaton of HD-2 filed HB 2811, allowing school districts and local sheriffs to partner together to create school protection forces. The bill authorizes a school board to enter into an agreement with their county sheriff who can form and operate a Volunteer School-Protection Force, made up of former police officers, military veterans, and individuals deemed competent by the sheriff, that will assist in the protection of schools. Under control of the sheriff, the protection force would act to prevent harm to students and staff. HB 2811 is in response to the concept that was developed by the Sheriffs of HD-2, and was proposed to the Texas Sheriff’s Association in December.
Representative Slaton said: “Everyone is rightly concerned with protecting our children from harm in schools, and this is not a partisan issue. In the search for an effective method of protecting schools, I, along with each of the sheriffs in House District 2, are proposing that school boards be empowered to partner with local sheriffs to provide school protection. HB 2811 creates a flexible system that gives school boards and sheriffs the freedom to work together in a way that fits their unique local needs, and do so in a way that will not overburden the taxpayer or school board.”
Governor Greg Abbott recently made school safety an emergency item, which enables the legislature to consider and pass related legislation, including HB 2811, within the first sixty days of the legislative session.
Rep. Slaton continued: “By allowing schools boards to work with sheriffs in securing our schools, we can protect children and staff in an effective way that puts sheriffs in the driver seat of school security, and allows our schools to do what they do best, which is educate our children.”