SAN ANTONIO – As parents prepare to send their children back to school, there are a lot of questions and concerns. One of them is safety: will my child be safe at school, and what is being done to ensure this?
Northside Independent School District Superintendent Brian Woods said parents can expect a lot this year when it comes to safety, but that has always been paramount in all their schools.
“We’ve put a lot of time and resources into safety for many, many years because this isn’t a new concern,” Woods said.
One of the things they will do is roll out a video for parents that will highlight exactly what their safety protocol is and what their safety measures look like.
“So, when we talk about safety, we talk about people which looks like police officers and our school safety officer who spend 100% of their time worrying about school safety,” Woods said.
They will also be incorporating new technology and things like access control. Woods said they will have ballistic entries into their elementary schools that restrict access to all but one door.
“Where I’ve got to have an employee badge designated to a particular door or a particular campus to gain access to that door, otherwise, it’s locked 24/7,” Wood said.
And of course, plenty of cameras will be monitored 24/7 by their police dispatcher. However, Woods said parents can see a more intense focus on two things: procedures and preparedness.
Students and staff will undergo a series of active shooter drills and learn ways to make themselves safe during a threat.
If recent events have taught us anything, school officials said they will be more intentional about checking doors.
In fact, the district’s maintenance department just completed a project last week. They visited more than 100 schools where they checked and repaired over 20,000 doors.
Woods said they will also be expanding their dedicated mobile police group and making sure they have all the equipment they need in the event of a horrific situation.
“We’ve spent the summer talking to the various other policing agencies that that work in this area, being crystal clear with them about if an incident happened at a Northside school... this is how we will decide who’s in charge, who takes action,” he said, “and there will be no delay in a response.”