Bond helping SAISD improve security

District revisiting security plans, procedures in wake of Connecticut shooting

Author: Tim Gerber , Reporter,
Published On: Dec 17 2012 09:42:33 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 17 2012 10:30:00 PM CST

The shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, has school districts across the nation analyzing their security plans and procedures.

Well before last week’s shooting, the San Antonio Independent School District began improving security at its campuses using bond money approved by voters in 2010.

Three new police officers were sworn in Monday night to fill vacancies in the district's police department.

According to spokeswoman Leslie Price, every high school has two dedicated officers on campus while every middle school has one officer stationed there.

Right now SAISD's elementary schools don't have their own officers but they get frequent visits from district police officers on patrol.

Even so, the district's interim superintendent, Dr. Sylvester Perez, knows adding more police isn't the answer to ending violence in our schools.

"At the end of the day we need to have a culture where our students feel very free to share any concerns they may have," Perez said.

Perez said he believes in building a culture where students aren't afraid to speak up and share potentially lifesaving information and creating a culture where teachers take all threats seriously.

The district is also using its 2010 bond to address safety issues. Price said money is being spent to install more cameras on busses and at schools. Door locks in schools are being switched out to allow teachers to lock them from inside of the classroom and campuses are moving to key card systems that require all visitors to be buzzed in to gain access during school hours.

"Another big piece is of course to have our community and our parents very much engaged and be very welcoming at school," Perez said. "However, also understanding that we must be able to screen who comes in and who comes out of our neighborhood schools."

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