A 2017 report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that among major U.S. cities surveyed, Houston has the lowest rate of measles vaccination among young children.  The study looked at vaccination rates among a large sample group of children between 19 and 35 months old in 2017, which was the most recent data available. view article arw

Following an announcement by La Porte ISD that an elementary student is suspected of having contracted measles, local health advocates stopped by a Houston ISD school Wednesday to urge Texas lawmakers to revisit the state’s vaccination laws. “We know once vaccine coverage starts to decline the first breakthrough infection you always see is measles,” Hotez said. “Measles is like a biomarker of declines in vaccine coverage. It’s a biomarker that we’re not doing our job in getting our kids vaccinated.” view article arw

It may be no surprise that 2018 was the worst year on record for school shootings. According to federal data, there were 94 gun incidents at U.S. schools last year. That’s an increase of almost 60% over the previous high, recorded in 2016. One of those incidents of course was the horrific shooting on Feb. 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff members. This attack – and the many school shootings that followed –  galvanized a long-dormant national debate over gun violence. Students  mobilized across the country, demanding elected officials step up and fix the nation’s lax gun laws. view article arw

In the year since a troubled teen gunned down 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, shootings have continued at schools across America. Since Parkland, by CNN's count, there have been at least 31 incidents at K-12 schools in the United States in which someone was shot. That averages out to a shooting every 11.8 days. In those shootings 19 people were killed and another 44 were injured. view article arw

Amended bill, which must still pass Assembly and Senate, would only let children skip immunizations based on medical reasons. Opponents say it erodes personal rights The New Jersey Assembly passed a measure late last week removing the religious exemption as a reason parents can refrain from having their children vaccinated.  While the measure was just an amendment to a larger bill on mandatory immunization (A-3818), it signaled a new position state officials may be taking in the controversial vaccination debate. view article arw

J.J. Strong has been a cop at Round Rock High, near Austin, for four years. His job involves roaming the halls on the lookout for kids causing trouble, like starting fights, smoking weed, or just generally being up to no good. And all the while, he's constantly thinking about what he'd do if someone burst into the school with a gun. Officer Strong is a school resource officer, a part of a program that dates to the 1950s and has grown rapidly in the past few years. But in the post-Parkland era, the Round Rock Independent School District is one of many considering a self-contained, in-house police department, something 248 other districts in the state have already done — 34 in the last year alone. view article arw

Arlington police responded to Sam Houston High School in regards to a fight at around 9 a.m. Friday. A school resource officer had reported seeing someone reach into their waistband, as if to draw a weapon, during the fight. The school located at 2000 Sam Houston Drive was placed on lockdown, according to the Arlington Independent School District, as police investigated the incident. view article arw

If there's one thing school teachers anticipate each day, it's to expect the unexpected. Kim Frankson, Jess Johnson and Laurie Ortel work at Ashley Elementary in Frisco. They've perfected the art of multi-tasking but a single text message in December brought it all to a stop. view article arw

Last week, Denton County Public Health (DCPH) confirmed one measles case in Denton County. Some parents are opting to not vaccinate their children, and under Texas law, they have a right to do so. School districts across North Texas have some percentage of children who are not vaccinated including Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. Out of the district's 24,324 enrolled students, 288 are exempt from vaccinations, according the district. Sandra Lieck, C-FB ISD director of health services, said for some it’s a purity issue. For others, medical issues such as cancer serve as a reason for an exemption. Religion and conscience decision also qualify as valid reasons to be exempt.  view article arw

Lexington Independent School District officials have announced that classes will be canceled Thursday and Friday because of a high number of absences due to the flu. In a release on its website, officials say because Monday, Feb. 18 is a school holiday this means students will not be returning to class until Feb. 19. view article arw

Belton ISD superintendent Susan Kincannon briefed the district school board on new safety terminology the district has adopted. view article arw

 A positive prevention initiative designed to promote inclusion in middle schools was celebrated earlier this month by Big Sandy Junior High in Big Sandy, TX, Arp Junior High in Arp, TX and at Bowie Middle School in Odessa. Representatives from Superior HealthPlan hosted an assembly in honor of National No One Eats Alone® Day, created by the non-profit Beyond Differences™. Students participated in activities designed to teach them about social isolation and the negative impact it can have on a student's health and academic performance. They then demonstrated inclusion and sat with students at lunch who they didn't know, or who may have felt left out. They were given ice breaker topics to discuss to highlight their commonalities. view article arw

With four measles cases in Harris County confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services as of Feb. 14, Spring ISD will offer three mobile immunization clinics for children in the community this month. According to a Feb. 13 news release from SISD, the mobile immunization clinics will offer vaccinations free of charge to children in the Spring community, including those who are not yet of school age. “You may have heard in the news of some isolated cases of mumps and measles in Harris County and the Houston area, as well as across the nation,” said Jeanne Parker, SISD director of nursing and health services, in a statement. “There is evidence that immunizations protect children from serious illness and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases.” view article arw

The spokesperson for Alice Independent School District says school leaders and staff at Memorial Intermediate School relied on their training and pre established procedures to protect students when a man who was apparently high on drugs came on campus yelling and screaming Friday. view article arw

A Jefferson ISD teacher was arrested on a charge of improper relationship with a male student following an investigation by Jefferson ISD Police. Shannon Griffin, an English and theater teacher at Jefferson High School, was arrested by Jefferson ISD Police on Feb. 8 and booked into the Marion County Jail, Jefferson ISD Superintendent Rob Barnwell said on Wednesday. view article arw

Post ISD cancels classes for Friday

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Officials from Post Independent School District have cancelled classes for Friday because a large number of students are out with the flu. Students are not required to meet for class on Friday, but teachers will still meet at 8 a.m. on their campuses for a staff development day. view article arw

As flu and flu-like symptoms continue to plague Central Texas, another local school district is falling victim to school closures. Lexington ISD, which is northeast of Austin, announced on Wednesday it will be canceling classes for the remainder of the week. view article arw

Austin school district police are seeking information from the community about additional social media threats after a student at McCallum High School was arrested Wednesday and charged with making a terroristic threat. Since his arrest, “additional threats have been posted on social media,” Police Chief Ashley Gonzalez said in a tweet Wednesday night. view article arw

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre a year ago renewed the national debate on guns and school safety, turned some victims’ parents and surviving students into political activists and at least temporarily ended the local sheriff’s career. But Thursday’s anniversary will primarily be about remembering the 14 students and three staff members who died in the third high-profile mass shooting in Florida since 2016. view article arw

In less than two weeks, a measles outbreak across greater Houston has brought this once-thought-eliminated disease front and center. Out of the 6 Houston-area cases under investigation, 4 of the 5 children are believed to have been vaccinated. Catherine Troisi, PhD, epidemiologist at UTHealth School of Public Health, explains why a vaccine might not work. view article arw

Kerens Independent School District is the latest school to cancel classes because of the amount of flu and illness absences. Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday with classes resuming Tuesday Feb. 19, according to the school's Facebook page. view article arw

Clarendon CISD and the Donley County Sheriff’s Office say there is no threat at the school despite a “Threat Announcement” sent out late Wednesday afternoon, February 13. “There is no existing threat at the school,” Sheriff Butch Blackburn said this evening. “It’s been handled. The subject is not even in the state, and I verified that moments ago.” view article arw

As the Houston area learns of its sixth possible case of measles in less than two weeks, doctors and scientists are pushing for the Texas Legislature to eliminate the ability for most parents to opt out of vaccines for their children. A Pre-K student at La Porte Elementary School is believed to have measles, officials announced Tuesday. While that case was not confirmed as of Wednesday morning, there are seven other confirmed cases of measles in the statewide area so far in 2019. view article arw

School safety and security may come hand-in-hand with school finance reform. Lawmakers in the 86th Texas legislative session have zeroed in on changes to public education funding. Fixing the funding could help school districts at multiple levels­—including freeing up resources to make campuses safer for students and staff. view article arw

New security measures at Clarendon CISD will require all visitors to present identification at campus offices beginning Tuesday, February 19. School officials say the Raptor Visitor Management System will strengthen safety for students and faculty. Part of keeping students and faculty safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times, and the Raptor system will allow the school to do that. The Raptor system will used to screen visitors, contractors, and volunteers. view article arw

Mesquite Police arrested a John Horn High School student Wednesday morning, less than a day after investigators were alerted to a threat made on social media. Police said late Tuesday evening, they and Mesquite ISD found out about a non-specific threat related to an event that would happen on Thursday, February 14 at the school. view article arw

The Killeen Independent School District Board approved a new fire alarm system for Live Oak Ridge Middle School in a meeting Tuesday night, Killeen ISD chief communications officer Terry Abbott.  The school's current system is 16 years old and has been failing recently, the school board said. Multiple false alarms have been triggered and the out of sync alarm strobes could cause seizures, according to Abbott. view article arw

Kimberly Krawczyk says she would do anything to keep her students safe. A year ago Thursday, the Parkland, Fla., high school math teacher barricaded students behind her classroom door during one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.  But one of the unconventional responses that Broward County Public Schools said could stop another tragedy has left her deeply unnerved: an experimental artificial-intelligence system that would surveil her students closer than ever before. view article arw

The La Porte Independent School District posted a notice on its website Tuesday stating that an elementary school student has a suspected case of measles. LPISD posted the following statement: view article arw

A 14-year-old student at Cleburne High School is in custody after officers found a handgun on him on school property Tuesday, police say. According to police, school resource officers were made aware of a weapon on campus at around 8 a.m. Officers were able to respond quickly and found the weapon in the student’s possession. view article arw

Federal health officials have identified more measles cases, bringing the total nationwide number to 101. So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are confirmed cases in 10 US states since January 1.   view article arw

AUSTIN — State Rep. James Talarico remembers teaching in San Antonio and feeling that some of his sixth-grade students needed more adults watching out for their well-being, but there weren’t enough services. “Personally speaking, I had a lot of students who slipped from my fingers,” said Talarico, a former teacher. “It’s more than political … it’s personal to me.”  Talarico — a Democrat from suburban Austin who wants school districts to hire four counselors for every security guard — is one of several lawmakers proposing bills to make schools safer in light of the prevalence of school shootings. After a student opened fire inside Santa Fe High School last May, killing eight students and two teachers and wounding 13 others, lawmakers say they are committed to improving school safety this year. view article arw

Thursday is Feb. 14, an important date to remember not just because it's Valentine's Day. It's also a year since the Parkland, Fla., high school mass shooting in which 17 died. The anniversary prompted us to ask what Corpus Christi ISD has done since then to make its schools more secure. School security, always an important issue, became urgent and contentious in Parkland's aftermath. It became a much more urgent Texas issue on May 18, 2018, when 10 people were killed in a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe. Gov. Greg Abbott has declared school security a priority for the current session of the Legislature, which is in its early stages. view article arw

The Newton ISD employee being treated for meningitis does not have a type that poses a significant threat to students, faculty or family members, school district and health officials said Tuesday. The patient, whose name and job have not been publicly released, has been diagnosed with a type of bacterial meningitis brought on by an invasive form of the bacteria that typically causes pneumonia, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed. Agency spokesman Chris Van Deusen said that pneumonia strain not highly contagious. view article arw

Building new schools and better securing existing ones are part of the reason Cy-Fair ISD is asking voters to approve a $1.76 billion bond. “We have 117 thousand students, which makes us the third largest in the state behind Houston and Dallas,” said CFISD Superintendent Mark Henry. “So, it’s constant growth and constantly maintaining the assets that you have.” view article arw