August 14, 2020
  • 5:24 pm McHone Swears in Mendoza
  • 5:21 pm New program guides beginning teachers on path to success
  • 5:17 pm Number of active COVID-19 cases rises to 30; deaths are at 5
  • 5:16 pm Muleshoe Journal receives awards.
  • 5:14 pm State waives STAAR Test pass requirement for grade promotion for 2020-2021 school year

By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

David Vela, Muleshoe High School safety administrator, and 9th grade student Christian Chavira recently won gold and bronze medals from StayAlert, an organization dedicated to promoting safety.
StayALERT has granted $1,000 to Vela as the Gold Winner and Amazon gift cards totaling $175 and StayALERT wireless chargers to the Christian, the Bronze Winner. The $1,000 will be used to enhance the MISD safety system.
The administrator and the student submitted winning essays to StayALERT.
Vela’s essay emphasized the benefits of the Raptor system, outlining how the system would keep students safe and alert school personnel to potential threats. He writes:
“What I would like to purchase with your help would be the Raptor system at each campus; this would allow parents and visitors to report into our schools in the front office and swipe their identification to pick up their students and this would allow us to keep a record of what time and who came in to pick up their student. Also, if they are authorized to pick up the student, it would check to see if they are on the sex offender’s registries. There are other benefits such as tracking students when they come in late to school in the mornings, alerting personnel for potential threats; this is to name a few.


“This scholarship will help us tremendously with the safety of our district’s staff and students. With school safety mandates from SB11, we need to be sure to comply with Governor Abbot’s school safety action plan to help reduce, prepare hazard risk mitigation and recovery of a school Emergency Operation Plan. The scholarship can provide the cost for the district where our budget will not allow for us to purchase the Raptor system. I would hope that you would consider helping our school community to be safe and remain safe.”
Christian’s essay suggests a method to combat vandalism by providing a safe place where students can express themselves without defacing the walls.
“Students should be given their own space to vandalize in a way that is not illegal,” he writes. “To do so, there needs to be a texture on the wall that will make the spray easy to take off. Adding vinegar will weaken the paint on the wall, making it easier to take the paint off.”
Christian also suggests the use of posters to inform students concerning the consequences of vandalism.
“Showing students the end results of using their talents for good and bad will make them realize they can actually be winners instead of criminals.”
In a press release, Michelle Ryan of Edwards Risk Management, Inc. said:
“In January, StayALERT opened applications for students, teachers and administrators alike to have the opportunity to be awarded dollars for their district that would go towards safety. The aim of the campaign was to encourage district stakeholders to be active safety participants by submitting a plan for a safety initiative that combated some of the reportable items through StayALERT: bullying, drugs/alcohol, harassment, weapons, self-harm, etc.
“Muleshoe ISD will be awarded $1,000 on behalf of the safety initiatives David Vela and Christian Chavira submitted to StayALERT. Dollars awarded can be used at the discretion of the district to support safety and security needs. As a Gold Winner (Vela) and Bronze Winner (Chavira), honorees will also be presented with Amazon gift cards totaling $175 and StayALERT wireless chargers.”
StayALERT originally planned to recognize those who have been awarded prizes and dollars on their district’s behalf in April or May 2020.
However, because schools have closed during the COVID-19 crisis, they are offering to either mail the awards on May 6 or send them in August 2020 for recognition at a later date.

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