On Nov. 7, 2023, a teacher working at Story Elementary School, entered the teacher and staff restroom and found a firearm belonging to a security guard from L&P Global Security.
Immediately they alerted the the school’s administration and an Allen Police Officer present on campus collected the firearm. The security company was hired by Allen ISD at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year in order to comply with a new state law that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2023.
According to a letter sent to parents by Story Elementary Principal Claudia Harrison, and obtained by Fox 4, the firearm was unsupervised for less than a minute between the security guard leaving the bathroom and the teacher entering. The principal also added that the restroom is reserved for adults and no students accessed it during the incident.
"It cost him his job,” Charles Hollis, with L&P Global Security, told Fox 4. “I don’t think he’s a bad man at all, I think he just made a mistake.”
According to Hollis, company policy forbids security guards from removing a firearm unless there’s a threat. "I don’t blame the parents at all for this response. I wish I could make them understand that this is isolated," Hollis added.
The contract with L&P Global Security was an effort by Allen ISD to comply with Texas House Bill 3, passed during the recent 88th legislative session. The new law required schools the presence of armed personnel members at each Texas school campus, coupled with mandatory mental health training for school staff. The individual can be a peace officer, a school resource officer, a school marshal, or a district employee.
At a time when many school districts are struggling with staff shortages, hiring third-party security companies to complete the staff was a good option to comply with the new law.
In early August, Assistant Superintendent of Operations at Allen ISD Brent Benningfield told NBCDFW that the security company structured the contract to work like an SRO program.
“They also have a plan for subs that if one of those individuals is out of illness or things, we have appropriated subs,” said Benningfield. “In addition to that, they will provide us with a sergeant as a point of contact and someone to oversee the program.”
According to The Dallas Morning News, in an email sent to parents, Prashant Kumar, managing partner at L&P Global Security said that the company is reviewing and reinforcing the safety and security protocols with all personnel and implementing more rigorous measures in their ongoing training to emphasize the importance of firearm safety and control.