Jimmy Hogberg, a former Belton Independent School District employee of Lake Belton Middle School and a Copperas Cove business owner, recently used advertising space on the Bill Board to launch a self-described “school safety” campaign against the Belton education system.
Hogberg’s main concern is about Belton ISD’s policy to keep a door unlocked daily at the campus, he said.
The purchased advertising space in Copperas Cove tried to deliver that message by explaining Belton ISD doesn’t lock the doors and people should contact Hogberg at Self Defense America.
“They can’t give me a good reason, because there’s not a good reason,” Hogberg said of Belton ISD’s policy. “In January, they said that they were going to put in security doors. It’s still not done, but if they need more time, I would think they could lock those doors until then.”
Belton ISD Public Relations Coordinator Kyle Debeer said the only door left unlocked at the school is its main front entrance. Past that point, all visitors are screened and must provide identification before gaining further access to the facility.
Debeer said two side doors are momentarily unlocked each morning, and “teachers are there monitoring the area while they’re open. A back door is opened at 10 a.m. to allow sixth-graders to go between their classrooms and the cafeteria, where principals are monitoring.”
Debeer isn’t familiar with any plans or announcements about security doors, but there was discussion about security cameras, he said.
The district works with Temple and Belton police departments and confirmed a security resource officer is present at the campus the majority of the time.
“We pro-actively review our security measures at each campus in consultation with experts, including our school resource officers, and the safety of our students is our first priority,” Debeer said.
Hogberg, also a martial arts instructor at Self Defense America of Copperas Cove, claimed he makes an easy target, that he was fired under false pretenses, and that it actually came about as a result of voicing his security concerns.
Debeer wouldn’t discuss reasons Hogberg was terminated, but said, “I think it’s fair to describe him as a disgruntled former employee.”
Hogberg insisted he wasn’t attacking the district because his recent firing.
“This is not a personal vendetta,” Hogberg said. “This isn’t about making people look bad, but about keeping our kids safe.”
He speculated inferior school security is a widespread issue and said he plans to expand his campaign in the future.