Some San Antonio-area school districts are not following state lockdown drill guidelines, records show

Texas education code requires campuses to undergo two lockdown drills each school year

SAN ANTONIO – Outside of East Central High School on Sept. 25, dozens of parents were confused and worried about the safety of the children.

“We don’t know what’s going on or anything like that,” said Sherry Moncada, whose child was inside the school.

The sounds of gunfire in the background of a call drew law enforcement agencies to check and clear the campus.

“We don’t believe there was ever an actual threat toward the school or any actual shooting,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.

The call ended up being a hoax, but East Central High went on lockdown out of precaution.

Texas’ education code requires each campus to perform two lockdown drills a year -- one in the fall, the other in the spring.

All campuses in East Central ISD met those requirements. So did every school in Northside, Harlandale, Floresville, and San Antonio ISDs.

North East ISD, one of San Antonio’s largest school districts, has some work to do.

“We expect all of our schools to meet the requirements no matter what,” said NEISD spokesperson Aubrey Chancellor.

While public records show Northern Hills Elementary, Serna Elementary, Wilderness Oak Elementary, Garner Middle School and Madison High did complete two lockdown drills -- they were done in the same semester.

Longs Creek Elementary, located near O’Connor and Knollcreek Drive, only completed one drill the entire school year.

“Absolutely no excuses, but last year when this occurred, there were administrative changes taking place, and unfortunately, this was just something that fell through the cracks,” explained Chancellor.

As for Judson ISD -- there’s confusion about how many of its schools followed state guidelines.

Through an open records request, KSAT was given documentation on Sept. 1 showing only eight Judson ISD schools complied.

After we started asking questions, spokeswoman Nicole Taguinod provided more records on Sept. 25, which brought the number of Judson ISD schools that followed school guidelines up to 11.

“We do have a couple of schools that were not, that did not, do have to be in compliance with the second lockdown, yes,” said Taguinod in a Zoom interview on Sept. 25. “But not as many as that first report that you had.”

“Well, I counted, and it still says it’s 18,” said reporter Daniela Ibarra.

“You’re still counting 18?” said Taguinod after a short pause.

At the time, records showed that 18 of Judson ISD’s 29 schools did not complete the required lockdown drill per semester.

A day after our interview, Taguinod emailed us to confirm that KSAT’s count was correct.

“While we did conduct two lockdown drills in most campuses during the last school year, many of those drills did not occur during the second semester,” Taguinod wrote.

One week later, Taguinod sent another email with more lockdown drill data, which brought the number of Judson ISD schools that did not conduct lockdown drills down to five.

“As part of corrective action for lockdown drills, we have been investigating and have looked deeper into our systems for documentation of lockdown drills performed,” wrote Taguinod on Oct. 5.

KSAT asked Judson ISD if the district did not keep proper track of its lockdown drills.

“There is a clear opportunity for us to improve our tracking process for lockdown drills,” responded Taguinod. “As a continuation of our action plan for improvement in this area, we have pre-scheduled all required drills and begun conducting fall lockdown drills.”

Taguinod said the district’s new director of safety and security is helping its police department with a checks and balance system to ensure schools comply with the requirement and properly document drills.

About the Authors:

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.