When the Dallas Independent School District’s (DISD) Board of Trustees convened for their regular board meeting on Thursday, trustees spoke about violence on school campuses, particularly at Thomas Jefferson High School, where one student was injured in a shooting.
The shooting, which happened Tuesday in the school parking lot, led to the arrest of a suspect Wednesday night, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
All of the trustees who commented on the incident were complimentary of the staff’s handling of the shooting.
Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde praised teachers and staff for responding to the shooting, saying they ran toward the scene to help despite the danger.
“They were at their best when things were at their worst,” Elizalde said.
Trustee Edwin Flores echoed her remarks and said the shooting was “a reminder that we must retain constant vigilance.”
Trustee Ben Mackey thanked Thomas Jefferson High School staff for “handling this in such an appropriate way.”
“My son died from senseless gun violence, so it’s very much in my heart,” said Trustee Maxie Johnson, who shared his own story about how gun violence affected his family.
Still, one DISD resident who spoke during the public comment part of the meeting said the trustees were not doing enough to keep their schools safe.
Robert Ceccarelli, a regular attendee of DISD Board of Trustees meetings, told them that there have been problems with the metal detectors at South Oak Cliff High School, aiming his criticisms at Johnson in particular.
“He knows there was trouble there,” said Ceccarelli, alleging that during a basketball game, he was able to simply walk around the metal detectors without being stopped.
“It would have been a tragedy if something happened,” he said, suggesting a gun could have been brought into the school. “You’ve got to do something.”
He said he emailed Johnson about some possible safety issues at DISD.
“Why didn’t you recognize it in the emails?” he asked Johnson. “Shame on you.”
As reported by The Dallas Express, poll data suggest that Dallas residents believe that DISD suffers from mismanagement.
While DISD’s most recent school shooting took place outside Thomas Jefferson High School, an elementary school student managed to bring a gun into his school last October. The firearm was discharged inside the building. Luckily, no one was injured, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.