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Ysleta ISD’s Board of Trustees approves armed guards at each campus

UPDATE - ABC-7 reached out to Ysleta ISD regarding the board of trustee vote to bring armed guards to campuses in the upcoming school.

A spokesperson for YISD said, "The Ysleta Independent School District is responding to the "Armed Defender" requirements of House Bill 3 by developing a plan to have at least one armed defender at each campus as the law requires.

Given the local and statewide shortage of police officers, these defenders will be a mix of off-duty El Paso Police officers and Ysleta ISD employees who are uniformed security officers. The Ysleta ISD employees will be Commissioned Security Officers, licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety to carry a firearm, and authorized by the Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees to do so at our schools in order to respond to any life-threatening emergency.

Details about the deployment of security personnel and implementation of the Armed Defender plan were discussed during the board's June 28 special meeting in closed session, as provided by Government Code 551.089, and accordingly are confidential at this time."

ABC-7 spoke with local parents who told us their feelings on this boost in security at one of the Borderland's school districts.

"I definitely support it. I would love to see it in all the districts in El Paso. That way, parents feel more comfortable and more secure about having their kids going to school and not getting killed or anything like that. So I totally agree with it," said Jesse Acosta, who's son is a student at Socorro ISD.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Ysleta Independent School District's Board of Trustees has approved a motion to have at least one armed guard at each of its campuses.

Wednesday night's vote amongst the YISD school board was a 5-0 unanimous decision to allow at last one guard in schools.

The board also unanimously approved an measure that the guards do not have to be peace officers, and can instead be an off-duty El Paso Police officer or YISD employee, as long as they have Level III Certification, administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety's website, a Level III Certification includes a minimum of 45 hours of training, testing, and a demonstration of firearm proficiency completed within 90 days of the application date.

The board also approved an action to create a new job description and compensation plan for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year for this new security position.

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Sam Harasimowicz


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