The Houston board of education approved plans Monday night to place a school resource officer on campus in a deal struck with the Texas County Sheriff’s Department.
Dr. Dan Vandiver, superintendent, said a full-time school resource officer will begin duties in the next week or two. Vandiver said the board has considered the need for some time. Texas County Sheriff Carl Watson met with the board Monday.
Vandiver said the move was made to protect the safety of students on campus. There will be other benefits, too, as the officer will work on drug and alcohol awareness issues, visit with students and assist with additional supervision.
The sheriff’s department will provide a vehicle and the employee. The school district will pay for the cost. No single incident sparked the decision. Occasionally, issues develop with parents and students. Earlier, the district tightened entry requirements at Houston Elementary School.
Watson said the deputy will work during school hours, at ball games and other activities. “I’m glad they’ve decided to do it,” he said.
In other matters, members:
-Approved a policy revision clarifying the district’s use compensatory time in lieu of overtime for eligible employees.
-Tabled a proposal to create a stipend for sponsoring the FCA student organization until more information can be gathered.
-Approved bus routes for the school year.