SPRING, Texas –- Wednesday’s deadly stabbing isn’t the first time violence at a Spring ISD high school has made headlines.
In fact, Texas Education Agency reports show that while the school district has added thousands of students over the last six years, violence across Spring’s 38 campuses has increased at an even greater rate.
According to the Annual Discipline Summaries released by TEA, enrollment in Spring ISD grew 12%.
But at the same time, the reports show violence shot-up 43% between the 2005-2006 and the 2011-2012 school years as the number of fights reported to the state rose from 874 to 1,250.
The number of knives discovered at school also jumped from 18 to 45, a 150% increase over the six year period.
The reports also show a 180% increase in “conduct punishable as a felony” at Spring schools, as the number of cases grew from five to 14 by 2011-2012.
“We work night and day, safety and security is number one,” Dr. Ralph Draper, Superintendent of Spring ISD said during a news conference following Wednesday’s attacks. “Educating kids is actually number two to that safety.”
But is the district making the grade?
High-profile cases involving violence at Spring ISD schools include:
April, 2008: A student at Wunsche High School was stabbed three times inside the school’s lobby by the father of another student.
May, 2011: What began as a fight between two students turned into an all-out brawl. By the time it was over, two students were taken to the hospital, 19 students were disciplined, and one arrested.
October, 2011: Video showed a Spring ISD police officer spraying pepper spray inside Dekaney High School following another fight inside the school.
May, 2013: Security was stepped-up outside all three of Spring ISD’s high schools after rumors of students bringing guns to campus spread across social media. The threats turned out to be bogus.
District administrators say they’ve launched a gang task force in an effort to prevent gang activity at the schools.
The district also has more than 1,000 security cameras across its buildings and put metal detectors at all middle and high schools.
Security that’s sure to be scrutinized in the coming days and weeks.
“When street violence pours into the school, it compromises the well-being of all our students,” said Draper.
We wanted to know whether or not those metal detectors were in use at Spring High School prior to the stabbing.
A district spokesperson has not responded to our questions.