Shooting prompts increased school board security

By Jena Johnson - bio | email | Twitter

BULLARD, TX (KLTV)- The shooting that happened Tuesday night in a school board meeting in Panama City has some school leaders thinking about security. Bullard ISD is now considering additional safety measures during meetings expected to create heavy tension.

They are haunting images and sounds. a disgruntled man spraying gun fire at school board members in Florida. Although the incident happened far away from home, Bullard ISD School Board President John Alexander is shaken.

"We had ours in here last night and you know we had some visitors in here last night and it does make you scared that that could even happen here in Bullard, Texas," he said. "There are meetings that the emotions are obviously very high."

He says the shooting is on the minds of those who sit on the other side.

"It woke them to the fact that we were in the same exact spot last night," said Alexander. "You know, just looking out across the crowd here if that potential case happened here where would it have come from?"

It's a serious question that's put security at the center of discussion.

"I've had board members that called me this morning that expressed an interest in that," he said.

Superintendent Keith Bryant says it's something the board is looking into.

"We talked to the city this morning about the possibility of having a police officer should we need one and they're going to look at working with us on that," said Bryant.

Bryant says the district doesn't want to overreact. He says an officer's presence would depend heavily on the meeting's agenda. Alexander says this violent outburst could have happened anywhere, in any board room meeting.

"Hopefully we don't have to resort to constant security, but that is something that's on all of our minds right now," said Alexander.

Several school districts across East Texas told KLTV 7 News security is always on their mind. Longview ISD spokesperson Adam Holland released the following statement Wednesday afternoon.

"Many of us have watched in horror the shooting incident in Panama City and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of everyone involved. I can tell you that much of the water cooler talk here today has centered on that shooting incident. I know the thought has crossed many people's minds that such a tragedy could occur almost anywhere. In recent years, we've seen similar headlines involving gunmen at office buildings, shopping malls, universities and courthouses. Unfortunately, the actions of some people are difficult to predict and prevent."

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.