Aug 15, 2022 - News

How one Texas school is spending safety money

Illustration of school backpack covered with caution tape.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A suburban Texas school district spent nearly $250,000 on bullet-resistant film on the windows of its elementary and middle schools in recent years, per invoices obtained by Axios Austin through an open records request.

Why it matters: The invoices from the Round Rock Independent School District are a window into how much schools nationally are spending on safety measures after a spate of shootings.

  • The vendor was Atlanta-based National Glazing Solutions.

What they're saying: "In a world filled with school shootings, riots, looting, and natural disasters, protecting people and property is paramount," reads the company’s sales literature. "Schools must identify and improve the first lines of defense, starting with the most vulnerable spots: glass windows and doors."

  • The (terrifying) details: "Whether from a bomb blast, windstorm, gunshot, or human impact, glass will shatter with the right amount of force. This shattering creates 'spall:' flying pieces of glass that can cause great harm to anyone nearby. Serving as a containment system, security window film prevents spall from becoming harmful projectiles flying through the air."

Between the lines: School safety has become big business.

  • The safety glass installation was paid for with state money set aside in 2019 after the Santa Fe shootings — and NGS has a website instructing potential customers on how they can apply for the money.
  • "Texas, we are here to protect your schools," reads the company website.

The bottom line: "We must continue to remain vigilant, and to continue to prepare and implement the necessary safety procedures to keep our schools safe for our students, staff and community," Round Rock ISD superintendent Hafedh Azaiez wrote to parents in May, following the Uvalde shooting.

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