Magnolia Independent School District officials are taking big steps to ensure the safety of their campuses by allocating $1.3 million to add 10 more peace officers for the upcoming school year.
Montgomery County commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding and addendum between the Precinct 5 Constable’s Office and the district Tuesday during their regular meeting. The district is funding the cost of the deputies.
That will bring the total deputies in the school resource program to 18. The structure will include one lieutenant, two sergeants and 15 deputies, according to the MOU. Magnolia ISD has 16 school campuses including its ALPHA Academy.
“This is going to cover every school in the district, from the elementary, to the ALPHA to high school and it is no cost to the county,” Precinct 5 Constable Sgt. Billy Masden told commissioners.
Magnolia ISD Director of Student Services Rob Stewart called the action the district’s most “significant effort” to manage access points and provide a “strong presence of security.”
“It is our responsibility as educators to provide the safest and most secure environment for our students and staff,” Stewart said. “As a district, we have taken our level of safety to an even higher level.”
Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley praised the district’s effort.
“I think it is great that they stepped up to do that,” Riley said.
Masden also commended the district on its action.
“After the Sante Fe school shooting, they decided it’s not going to happen in Magnolia,” he said. “To me, I believe this district set the bar for other school districts in the area.
“To go from eight deputies to 18 to ensure the safety of students and faculty, to me that says a lot.”
In May, Sante Fe High School student Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot and killed 10 people in the school and wounded 13 others. Pagourtzis has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault against a public servant.