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Texas AG: Nearly 80 School Districts Without Complete Safety Plan

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Texas School Safety Center is reporting 78 Texas school districts either have failed to submit safety audits as required by law or don’t meet full compliance.

Eleven of those districts listed are in or near the CBS 11 viewing area (including Cooper, Crandall, Italy, Huckabay, Kennedale, Leonard, Melissa, Miller Grove, Milford, Tioga, and Valley View). Click here to download the complete list.

Officials from Leonard ISD, Melissa ISD and Kennedale ISD contacted CBS 11 to dispute their inclusion on the list. They all say they have documentation to prove their districts are in compliance with state requirements.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said Monday the districts “can’t let another second tick” without having a safety plan to deal with the possibility of school violence like the carnage in Connecticut.

The Texas School Safety Center was created in 1999 in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings in Colorado. The state education code requires public schools conduct safety audits once every three years.

Abbott’s office says 38 of the state’s 1,025 public school districts have filed no audit. Another 40 reported but aren’t in compliance.

“Having a plan is important, but executing that plan under stress – when seconds count – is critical to saving lives,” continued Abbott. “Texas schoolchildren must be safe and secure. The difference between life and death frequently hinges upon how educators and law enforcement respond in the seconds before and after a violent incident. Campus security audits provide crucial information about the proper response during disaster situations.”

The Texas School Safety Center, created in 1999 in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy, provides schools with research, training and technical assistance to reduce youth violence and promote safety in Texas schools. As the state’s chief law enforcement official, Attorney General Abbott remains fully committed to ensuring students are protected from school violence.

In addition to calling on school districts to immediately comply with Texas statute, Attorney General Abbott is strongly encouraging Texas students, parents and school staff to report alarming behavior to authorities.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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