Message from CHISD Chief of Police
HB3 approved during the 88th Legislative Session, requires an armed officer at every public school campus – but the new law did not come with enough financial assistance to pay for implementation.
Right now, CHISD has police officers supporting all middle and high schools, but NOT the elementary campuses.
- CHISD is expected to receive approximately $225,000 from the state to fund HB3 mandates. To hire 9 additional officers and provide medical benefits, the district needs an additional $623,200.
- There are currently 7 vacancies in the CHISD Safety /& Security Department (1 police officer & 6 security officers)
House Bill 114
Texas House Bill 114 went into effect on Friday, September 1, 2023. The bill states the conditions under which a student may be either removed from class and placed in a disciplinary alternative education program, or expelled from a school for the possession, use or delivery of marijuana or e-cigarettes on or near a public school property or at certain school events.
Texas law now requires school districts to distribute information to parents and guardians about the safe storage of firearms.
In 2021, 4,613 Texans experienced gun-related deaths. The Texas Department of State Health Services (SHS) reports that 55% of Texas firearms deaths in 2020 were suicides and that 59% of all suicides in Texas were by firearms. Suicide attempts involving firearms have a 90% fatality rate. Restricting access to guns is critical in reducing acts of violence, whether as self-harm or towards others. Acts of mass violence and interpersonal violence often end in suicide.
It is unlawful to store, transport, or abandon an unsecured firearm in a place where children are likely to be and can obtain access to the firearm. Under Texas Penal Code 46.13, a person commits the offense of making a firearm accessible to a child if the child gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm, and the person with criminal negligence:
- Failed to secure the firearm; or
- Left the firearm in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access
The penalty for allowing a child access to a firearm can range from a Class C misdemeanor (punishable by a $500 fine) to a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by a $4000 fine, a year in jail, or a combination of the two).
Remember, a gun should be stored unloaded in a safe or locked container, with ammunition stored elsewhere. You can learn more and find additional resources from the Texas Department of Public Safety at https://safegunstoragetexas.com.
Safe gun storage is critical to preventing suicide, unintentional shootings, and other tragedies.
When current teachers, and even, older siblings, were high school scholars, there was the physical hall pass. Scholars would sign out the pass, or perhaps a teacher would write a makeshift pass on a scrap piece of paper. With advancements in technology, hall passes have followed suit at Cedar Hill High School, with the implementation of "SmartPass"!
More than 1,000 K–12 schools across the United States use SmartPass products to manage hall passes, reduce disruptions, and keep track of where every student is located at any given time
“The scholar requests a pass from their Chromebook, and a teacher issues them an electronic pass,” Cedar Hill High School Principal Lee Joffre said. “There are certain parts of the building where they’re approved to go.” Joffre said keeping scholars inside the classroom – as much as possible – is ultimately about academics. “You have to be in the classroom in order to learn,” Joffre said. “If they’re not, scholars are not taking advantage of their learning.”
- SmartPass serves many purposes. It can track how many scholars are outside the classroom at any one time, and it shows how many electronic passes each teacher has issued.
- SmartPass has been at CHHS, since just before the COVID-19 Pandemic, but it’s becoming more common throughout the campus.
“We trained the counselors with it earlier this year,” CHISD Executive Director of Leadership Ty Lowe said. “It’s something more validated than a paper pass.”
CHHS recently increased its passing periods from five to six minutes, to allow scholars to travel between classes more efficiently. They’ve also added directional signage in the hallways to improve traffic flow.
Students or parents in the school community can anonymously submit any suspicious activity, bullying or other student related issues to a school administrator(s). We encourage you to report important issues. The system will be monitored between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the school year. Any report submitted outside these hours (including holidays) will be responded to on the following school day.
Please do not use this system if you need immediate assistance.
The Cedar Hill Independent School District has used grant funds to purchase a silent alarm to be used in the event of an emergency situation where authorities would need to be contacted immediately and discreetly. The State of Texas required all public school districts to have some type of silent alarm, and they made the funds available through a safety and security grant.
- The silent alarm will be tied to public address systems, message boards and alerts.
- Teachers and administrators will receive training through an app.
- There will be some situations where the alert will be sent out internally, and others, where it will go directly toward the Southwest Regional Dispatch in DeSoto (for major incidents).