July 5, 2022 by HCDE Communications
The Center for Safe and Secure Schools (CSSS), a division of the Harris County Department of Education, has been tapped to offer its expertise to the newly-formed Harris County Safe School Commission (HCSSC).
Approved by Harris County Commissioner’s Court in June, the Safe School Commission is comprised of five subject matter experts tasked with compiling recommendations on how Commissioners Court can support the safety strategies of Harris County’s private schools and 25 independent school districts in time for the 2022-2023 school year and future school years, as needed.
“This is about addressing what we can handle at the local level, not state or federal,” said Pct. 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey, who proposed the commission. “As a Commissioners Court member, we can allocate resources to help. We just need the experts to tell us how. I look forward to real solutions that will protect our students and teachers, and return them safely to their families.”
CSSS Director Julia Andrews and Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen will serve as a resource to the HCSSC in the development of their recommendations.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to help shape decisions that affect our community around school safety,” said Andrews. “Since 1999, the Center for Safe and Secure Schools has been providing support around increased safety and security strategies, standards, and best practices for K-12 school environments.”
Each Commissioners Court member appointed a representative to form the five-member Safe School Commission. They are as follows:
- Saami Baig, a high school student at the John Cooper School in The Woodlands and member of the Houston chapter of March for Our Lives
- Traci Latson, A teacher at Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School
- Calandrian Simpson Kemp, founder of No Weapon #1Life Empowerment Foundation and member of Moms Demand Action
- Elizabeth Fagen, Humble ISD Superintendent
- Lisa Andrews Alpe, vice president of the Spring Branch ISD school board
The HCSSC will present its recommendations to Commissioners Court on August 1, 2022.
To learn more about the Center for Safe and Secure Schools, visit hcde-texas.org/safe-secure-schools.