Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 19, 2012

Problem solved, but ...

LaPoynor ISD waits to be taken off state non-compliance list

Jeff Riggs
The Athens Review

ATHENS — LaPoynor Independent School District has updated its safety audit, according to Superintendent Sherry Douglas.

Yet there still exists a situation that, on its face, appears problematic. As of Wednesday, LaPoynor ISD was still on the list of Texas school districts not in compliance with the State Attorney General’s list of 78 districts with no safety audit.

“I don’t know that (the list) is correct,” she said. “I submitted my audit this morning. The deadline for resubmission is Jan. 14.  The next time we have to resubmit is in three more years. By my resubmission, (the district’s name) can be taken off of the list for noncompliance.”

Douglas said she believes the AG will “probably collect everything until after the deadline (Jan. 14).”

On Monday, the AG’s Office released the list of 78 school districts — including  LaPoynor — that had no safety audit on file with the Texas School Safety Center.  Douglas said Tuesday the district does have a safety audit, but that a “clerical error” caused the emergency plan to not be on file with the state.

Douglas said that a school safety center official visited LaPoynor schools in 2011 to help the district update its emergency operations plan.  The plan was also reviewed by personnel from Poynor Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the district’s safety committee.

Joe F. Smith, the webmaster for the Texas Independent School District’s website, wrote on a confirmation that the list of districts not in compliance with Safety Audits had been updated.  The post was dated Dec. 19, 2012.  The post stated:

“Yesterday, shortly after posting the Attorney General’s list of 78 districts with no safety audit on file, I began to get e-mails from districts saying they are in compliance, and have confirmations in-hand that says they are in compliance. Several administrators called the Safety Center which, of course, was flooded with calls.  As a result, we did determine that there were some miscommunications between the Safety Center and the AG’s office, and that the list is not exactly correct.”

Jennifer Steele, associate director of the School Safety Center at Texas State University in San Marcos, said the Attorney General’s office has been notified about the fact that the list had not been updated.

“There’s been a little bit of a lag,” Steele said. “We’re (following up with them) about every hour.  We took 23 districts off the list.  We did receive communication from the AG’s office that they are updating the list.”

Steele said she could not confirm that LaPoynor was one of the district’s that was removed from the list.  She said the list should shortly be corrected and posted for public viewing.