Grayson County school districts adding police protection for the upcoming year

GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) -- Monday night at their meeting, Sherman City Council voted yes to a school resource officer at Sherman High School for the upcoming school year.

And they aren't the only Grayson County school district pushing for extra protection.

Bells, Whitewright and Howe school districts are all creating their own school police departments, separate from the city and paid for by the district's budgets.

Sherman's will be paid for by the city and the school district.

Sherman City council unanimously approved a full time resource officer for Sherman High School this fall.

With school shootings around the country, the school district and the Sherman Police Department agreed creating the position was a good idea.

"In the nature, the climate of our society, we definitely believe that it is a good move to have a consistent person in the school," Sherman Police Chief Zachary Flores said.

At least eight threats have been made in Texoma schools since January, including Sherman's Piner Middle School.

Bells and Howe police said no threats have been made in their schools and they want to try to keep it that way.

"One student being hurt is one too many," Howe Police Chief Matt Whitworth said.

Whitworth will be stepping down as the city's chief and becoming the chief of the new Howe ISD Police Department.

"You know you're talking about precious little lives all the way from kindergarten through graduating high school. I take it personally as my duty to protect every one of them," Whitworth said.

Whitewright ISD is one of the schools where a threat was made.

They will have their own police department with two officers on duty starting this school year.

"It'll help us do our job effectively, which is to teach the kids," Whitewright High School volleyball coach and English teacher Karen Hodgdon.

"And I let the administrators worry about our safety. it's always in the back of my mind," she said.

Hodgdon said having police presence at school will make it easier for her to do her job.

Sammy Tomlinson said it's also reassuring for parents.

"I know at home I can protect them. But when they're at school, I can't. So knowing there's someone here to do that job makes me feel a lot better," Tomlinson said.

Howe and Bells will each have at least one officer in the district when school starts.

Sherman ISD hopes to add more school resource officers in years to come.