After Nashville shooting, San Antonio lockdowns, parents beg NISD board for more security

At least three San Antonio schools have been placed under lockdown since the mass shooting in Nashville on Monday.

click to enlarge Brennan High School went under lockdown in early February. - Screen Grab / Google Street View
Screen Grab / Google Street View
Brennan High School went under lockdown in early February.
Following Monday's school shooting in Nashville and a slew of recent lockdowns at San Antonio campuses, parents and teachers voiced their anxiety over school safety during an overflowing Northside ISD board meeting.

"I am terrified to go to work in my school right now," Rachel Brantley, a teacher at Brennan High, said during Tuesday's gathering, her voice raised. "I have rearranged my classroom so that I have my bookshelf so that I can jam it up against the door during a lockdown next time."

Brantley's own campus last went under lockdown in early February.

Since the shooting at Nashville's Covenant Elementary School that claimed the lives of three staff and three students, there have been at least three lockdowns at San Antonio school districts.

On Monday, two 13-year-old boys were arrested for threatening to harm a teacher at NISD's Dolph Briscoe Middle School. Another teen was picked up later that day at San Antonio ISD's Burbank High School for bringing a gun onto campus.

Wagner High School went under a lockdown Tuesday after three students driving a stolen vehicle parked on campus and engaged in a foot pursuit with Bexar County Sheriff's Deputies.

Ed Mickus, who has children at Brennan High, urged the board to enact policies to keep a closer eye children struggling with mental illness. He cited reports that the Tennessee shooter was under a doctor's care for an "emotional disorder," as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Another concerned parent, Angie Yang, told the NISD board she was most concerned about kids' access to guns.

"Guns are the number one cause of death in children and teens," she said.

The board remained largely silent during the public comment session of the meeting. Most of the comments were about school safety.

During a public safety meeting last week called to discuss recent problems with guns and drugs on campus, Sheriff Javier Salazar said youths are getting their hands on firearms left in cars.

"They check the driver's seat, they check the glovebox, and they check the console, and they're out in 10 seconds," Salazar said. "If there's anything there within easy reach, they'll steal it, and they're leaving these neighborhoods cleaned out with 10 or 12 guns."

In other words, San Antonians who pack heat should remove their guns from their vehicles overnight, Salazar said. He also urged parents to be more careful about hiding firearms and keeping them out of reach from their children.

Salazar's sentiments echoed that of District Attorney Joe Gonzales, who blamed Texas open carry laws for the city's skyrocketing gun violence during a town hall on the Northside earlier this month.

In response to the growing number of incidents of children with firearms, the sheriff's office last week increased its presence at Brennan High. Even then, a Brennan student was arrested Monday for having a firearm and drugs in his vehicle.

During Tuesday's NISD meeting, parents and teachers urged the board to do more.

"I am begging you. I am begging everyone to help do whatever it is that you can," Brantley pleaded.

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About The Author

Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...


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