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Board action reinforces commitment to student and school safety

September 23, 2022

During Wednesday night’s school board meeting, our trustees approved two action items that will further support student and campus safety.

First, the board adopted a resolution authorizing the Lake Travis ISD administration to apply for the Bullet-Resistant Shield Grant Program. The recent tragedy in Uvalde emphasizes the importance of security in public schools. In response, the State of Texas authorized certain grant programs in order to improve the ability of public schools to respond to emergencies. One of these programs is the Bullet-Resistant Shield Program which provides funding for ballistic shields to be used by police officers employed by the District. In the event of a shooting, these ballistic shields will provide extra protection to our police officers.

Secondly, our school board voted to amend local policy that will allow the District to purchase, store, and administer opioid antagonists such as Naloxone (also known as Narcan) in the event of a drug-related overdose—in particular, fentanyl. Only a registered nurse or other designated and trained District employee will be authorized to administer this medication and may do so only in accordance with a standing order or procedures approved by a physician licensed to practice medicine in the state of Texas.

While we are not aware of any fentanyl overdoses at Lake Travis ISD, we know that the greater Austin community has been impacted. We want you to be informed of this crisis and partner with us to create awareness. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid typically used to treat patients with chronic severe pain. Under the supervision of a licensed medical professional, fentanyl has a legitimate medical use. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s website, illicitly manufactured fentanyl is often the ingredient used in counterfeit pills sold as something else like Xanax, Percocet, or oxycodone. It is important to note that while fentanyl may be present in pills, it can also be found in more commonly used products such as vape cartridges. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies are reporting that many who overdose on fentanyl believe they were taking something to help ease their anxiety. When someone is experiencing a fentanyl overdose, they might experience dizziness, weakness of the muscles, slow and shallow breathing, and unconsciousness. Fentanyl is highly potent. In fact, a dose the size of the tip of a pencil is considered a lethal amount.

The DEA is especially advising the public of an alarming emerging trend of colorful fentanyl, referred to as “rainbow fentanyl,” available across the United States. Drug traffickers have made these pills look like candy, coming in a variety of bright colors, shapes and sizes, in an effort to appeal to kids and young adults. We encourage parents to communicate the dangers of fentanyl to their children. Anyone can anonymously report or notify school officials of incidents or actions which may pose a danger to individuals or the school during or outside the instructional day through our Cavs Who Care tip line. 

All LTISD campus nurses and police officers will be equipped with Narcan which can help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose within minutes. Narcan has proven to be a highly-effective, life-saving treatment when administered during an emergency. You can learn more about this medication at www.narcan.com.

At no other time have school safety and security been at the forefront of our daily operations as they are today. We know you expect nothing less. It is imperative that Lake Travis ISD take proactive measures to ensure response and care can be provided as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency occurring on school property. On behalf of our school board and the administration, thank you for your continued support and partnership. Working together, we will keep our students and schools safe.

Sincerely,

Paul Norton
Superintendent of Schools