SAN ANTONIO – In the last three years, Texas has seen three mass shooting -- One at a church, another at a Walmart and a third at a school.
Situations like these have school administrators, parents and students on edge.
As Northeast ISD starts up their new school year Monday, the district is adding layers of security to keep students safe.
“It’s very scary," NEISD parent Linda McDowell said. "We started thinking about home schooling, all options, and that was one of the things we looked at here: safety first.”
McDowell has a 14-year-old daughter entering freshman year at Churchill High School, so security is a top priority for her. And she's not alone.
School administrators and NEISD police have one primary goal.
The school is focused on providing “a safe environment for our kids to come to every single day to get educated. We feel everything we are doing, the 3 layers of security we have now, we are moving even more in that direction, to put kids at ease every day,” NEISD police Chief Wally McCampbell said.
McCampbell spent 24 years on the force for the San Antonio Police Department working on the gang unit, SWAT, and as a detective.
Now he's using his expertise to make sure students stay safe.
“In 2015, we went out for a bond program where we put in the secure entry vestibules for our schools. We started adding proxy-reading keyless entry,” McCampbell said.
That bond was accelerated in the aftermath of the Sante Fe High School shooting. Now, all doors will remain locked at designated times. To enter, you need to buzz in at the main entry point and the office can see and hear you through a camera system.
There's also a K-9 unit that does spontaneous school searches, and students are required to wear see-through backpacks.
“Every day each dog will randomly select a middle school or high school and select five classrooms in that school to do a random search,” McCampbell said.
This year, there is also a new fence that goes around the entire perimeter of Churchill High School. The idea is to make sure no unwanted visitors can come onto campus without the office or authorities knowing.
McDowell says the new security measures in place are giving parents more piece of mind. “I’m glad they have stepped up the safety measures here and most of the district, too."