KFOX14Investigates: Lawmaker weighs in on school lockdown investigation

Practice lockdown drill at Canutillo High School

This month, KFOX14Investigates exposed the fact that many El Paso area schools aren't following state recommendations when it comes to lockdown drills.

KFOX14Investigates took our findings to a state lawmaker to find out what can be done about it.

El Paso state Rep. Joe Moody watched our story and said our schools can do better.

“It's a sad reality that part of what we expect out of our schools now is that they understand what to do when there is an active shooter,” Moody said.

The State of Texas recommends that schools conduct two lockdown drills per year.

Our investigation found many districts including EPISD, SISD, Fabens, Tornillo and San Elizario weren't doing this consistently, or didn't have the records to prove it.

“Clearly, with these types of results we could do better, we could clearly do better,” Moody said.

KFOX14Investigates found there is no standard for districts to keep records of their drills.

“At the very least, we should have the availability of those records,” Moody said.

Records provided by each district showed a wide variance in the consistency and method of record keeping.

For instance, Clint ISD provided records for each school, which listed the date on which each drill was conducted.

Socorro ISD gave a tally mark for each year. EPISD provided a total for three combined years.

That's something Moody would like to see possibly change.

“We will probably see this issue come to the forefront in the next session to see how we can maintain safety standards,” Moody said.

As part of our investigation, KFOX14 Investigates tagged along during a real lockdown drill at Canutillo High School.

The students and teachers didn't know it was a drill and the school was able to identify weaknesses.

“That's one of the more powerful parts of the piece, is watching what's done in Canutillo, you are identifying the gaps,” Moody said.

Which begs the question, if schools aren't conducting these drills routinely, how prepared are students and teachers?

“You don’t want the first time you are experiencing that problem to be during an actual event,” Moody said.

In the next legislative session, Moody thinks, there may be a move in the state legislature to require a minimum number of lockdown drills and safety standards.

Currently, the law requires schools to prepare their students, but stops short of defining what that means.

Regulations need to include “a consistent way to report that this is happening, maybe some good standards and best practices in conducting these drills, but if we are going to hand these down to our schools, we have to make sure they have the tools to do them,” Moody said.

The next legislative session begins in January. Wednesday night on KFOx14Investigates, teachers weigh in on our findings.

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