SAN ANTONIO — Inside his small office, signs of gratitude riddled Southside ISD Officer Reuben Cardenas' walls and shelves. They serve as heartfelt reminders of the hundreds of kids he's protected over the last six years. As he prepares for new ways to protect them, a new normal is coming.
"It's better to be proactive than be reactive," Cardenas said. "We've got to take measures and stay a step ahead."
That is what Southside ISD, as well as all other public school districts, are expected to do, effective January 1.
A new Texas law will require school districts to implement a traumatic injury response protocol. It's a training and plan that will involve all school staff as well as some students on how to stop the bleeding if someone has been critically hurt.
"We can't keep the mass shooters out of the campuses," Officer Cardenas said. "So we have to be prepared for it, if it happens."
Teachers will not be the only ones training. Students from grade 7 and up will be expected to also take the course to know how to use this equipment, since bleeding control stations will be required in an accessible area at all schools.
"It's really important for us to be familiar with what we need to take action to save someone's life," Cardenas said.
That familiarity can only be beneficial. After all, no matter your age, knowledge is power.