GISD considers changing policies on who events center is rented to

The Garland Independent School District is trying to decide if policies on who can rent its events center should be changed.

Two suspects in Garland were shot dead on Sunday after opening fire at a security guard outside the Curtis Culwell Center.

The Garland City Council discussed the attack Tuesday night during a regularly-scheduled meeting.           

The shooting was not a part of the city council's agenda, but it was a part of the opening prayer and mayor's comments.

The city and school district both acknowledged that to move beyond the incident, there will be changes.

Only one speaker, a Garland citizen named Mary Ehlenfeldt, signed up to speak during public comment.

"We as citizens of the United States have a blessing, we have freedom," she said. "But freedom has a price. Freedom means that if you wanna be scared, you can be scared. Please stay behind your doors and keep yourself safe. The rest of us want to fight for those freedoms."

Now the question the school district must answer is whether they it continue to hold non-scholastic events at the center.

"What we're gonna have to do is go back and make sure we are utilizing those regulations as efficiently as we can, but not trump safety," said Garland ISD spokesperson Chris Moore.

Those regulations? Since the district gets state and federal money, it's not allowed to discriminate on who or what rents out the facility.

However, a change in policy may mean giving up that federal and state money, and that means that instead of breaking even financially, which it was designed to do, the Curtis Culwell Center would begin losing money, and eventually, that would fall back on taxpayers.

"What happened Sunday can't happen out there," said Moore. "You can't compromise the safety of who attends that center."

The school district says if it didn't change its policy and then tried to pick and choose events that it would hold in the center, it could open itself up to possible lawsuits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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