Danielle speaking at the Jun 21, 2018 board meeting
Many people ask me how, when and why I got involved in the business of the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees.
This is my story.
On June 21, 2018 I attended my first RRISD board meeting. You can watch me speak at this meeting at the bottom of this page. I had been reading in local media that the school district my children were growing up in was likely moving to create its own police force. I had no idea who the board members were or where the meetings were held so I had to do some research. But I wanted to share my thoughts with the elected trustees on my skepticism of creating this school law enforcement enterprise.
I am the daughter of a career police officer. One of my active duty tours was in a USAF Security Forces Squadron. I have high regard for the Blue. I also believe that communities are best served when there are more checks and balances on government employees with a lot of power, not fewer checks and balances. I knew that state law requires school police chiefs to work for the superintendent. And I believed that no matter who the police chief or superintendent was today or in the future, the community and our students would not be best served under such an arrangement. I was satisfied with the SRO's on my kids' campuses that RRISD was paying for to our local law enforcement partners. This was a partnership that had been working well in RRISD for decades. If improvements in SRO coverage on some campuses were needed, I believed that it was the responsibility of elected and unelected leaders to find solutions. And I knew that a school police force would bear an explosive cost to RRISD and divert resources away from the classroom.
I showed up to the meeting 15 min prior to the start time of 6pm and signed up to deliver my public comments. I was shocked when I and the many other attendees were made to wait until midnight to deliver our comments to our elected school board. The six hours we were made to wait provided an opportunity to meet others who shared my concerns including fellow parents, teachers and taxpaying citizens. Below you can link to watch my comments at the 1:59:06 mark in the meeting. Keep in mind I had been waiting many hours to speak, it was late and I was tired. I drove home that night realizing that I had fallen short as a citizen and voter in local elections. I resolved to get involved and make a difference.
In some ways a lot has changed since June 21, 2018 and in some ways nothing has changed. I am confident that our community is best served when more citizens are engaged and paying attention to what is going on in our school district, whether you have children in RRISD or not. We are all in this together. This is OUR community.