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Lumberton ISD creates new 'director of safety' position to help protect staff, students in case of emergencies

Officials said this decision was not made in response to the mass shooting in Uvalde.

LUMBERTON, Texas — A Texas school district is creating a new position to ensure the safety of their staff and students.

Lumberton Independent School District officials are reviewing candidates for the new director of safety position. The position was created to protect staff and students in case of an emergency.

Lumberton ISD Superintendent Tony Tipton said the creation of the position is not in response to the mass shooting at the Uvalde elementary school, that claimed the life of 19 students and two teachers. 

“And it's something that we knew that we had needed for quite some time,” Tipton said. “And unfortunately, the timing of the Uvalde incident just coincided with the time that that we were about to post the position.”

Lumberton ISD officials are looking to fill the new role to centralize safety efforts, from bullying prevention to safety and security measures.

“[What] we have to deal with now, the kind of problems and threats that we get, really sometimes on a daily and weekly basis, are extremely complex,” Tipton said.

District officials said this will be a collaborative effort between the district and all emergency services they would use. The position will be the glue between the two.

“Just kind of coalesce it into one hub, so that we can ensure that we're doing every single thing we can to keep our staff and students safe,” Tipton said.

Tipton feels the district has many needs, including the need for more drills and trainings that prepare employees in case of an emergency situation.

“So, what we really want to do with this position, is we want to create one central place where discipline can flow through, that bully prevention can blow through it, student services, attendance, truancy, preventions, safety and security, and student services,” Tipton said. “But we really want to tell parents we are doing all we can.”

Specific details about the safety measures are being kept within the district. However, Tipton said the district's top three priorities are people, partnerships and the training.

“Make sure that our teachers understand what to do in the in the event of an emergency, and what, and that our students know what to do and that our community knows what to expect," Tipton said. "We really want to instill a sense of safety with our parents. We want them to feel good about sending their students to school.”

Lumberton ISD officials have closed the hiring process and are currently looking at applicants. They hope to have a decision by the fall semester of the 2022-23 school year.

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