SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio mother is pressing the South San Independent School District to consider advancing security measures to all of its schools after she documented how easy it was for her to walk into her daughter’s South San High School.
Her demand comes days after the nation witnessed another mass shooting, this time taking the lives of 17 people at a South Florida high school.
Stacey Alderete, a former South San ISD school board member, shared a series of videos to social media Tuesday showing what she claims “just how endangered our children are.”
Dressed as a student with a backpack, Alderete is seen in the videos walking on campus grounds, opening doors as she explores the high school.
“Half of the campus without being stopped and I could easily walk in here no problem. All I need to do is open the door … imagine what could’ve happened within this time,” Alderete said in a video. “I could’ve walked in … those are our students in those classrooms.”
Alderete told KSAT.com she eventually made her way to check in with the front office and after a reflecting how easily it was for her to access the high school, she was sick to her stomach.
“I was on the campus for approximately 20 minutes (and) when I finished what I did, after I checked in and gave (the administration) my daughter’s slips and stepped out the front doors, my stomach was sick knowing all that was possible,” Alderete said.
“It was a very sick feeling had that been somebody with the wrong intentions,” she said.
South San ISD sent a statement to KSAT.com, sharing the “safety protocol at our schools requires that all visitors, including parents, first check in at the front desk.”
“Principals are given the discretion to determine which exterior doors must remain locked at all times. Most elementary principals keep all exterior doors locked. Because of the requirement to change classes every hour at the middle and high school, most secondary schools do not lock most exterior doors, but security cameras and police officers constantly monitor exterior doors,” the district said.
Alderete told KSAT.com that during her two-year term as a school board member, she fought to add more security to an already shorthanded police department. But now, she claims, the superintendent wants to scale down on security for next year’s budget cuts.
The district said the idea of cutting back on officers was merely a discussion that occurred earlier in the month.
“Seven million dollars in potential budget reductions were discussed at the last meeting and these reductions impact many departments and areas in the school district. The police department was only one of many areas discussed. These proposed reductions are simply at the discussion level at this time. Final decisions will be made when the budget is adopted in August,” a district spokesperson told KSAT.com.
South San ISD said currently, there are four police officers assigned to the high school, two at each of the three middle schools, and two officers that patrol and provide services at the nine elementary schools.
In a video shared to its official YouTube of Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Abelardo Saavedra said a lot of items were put up for discussion by the administration to reduce the district’s budget by the amount of $7.4 million.
“This is the way you do a budget. You put things on the table for a discussion in part of the board and in part of the community to provide input. The issue with the police officers is one of many, many items that were put on the table for discussion,” Saavedra said in the meeting.
Alderete said she will continue to push district leaders to ensure the safety of not only her children but also the other students.
“How much more does it take for people to wake up and see that our children are vulnerable? I’m not asking for them to build a prison, but what I want is a safe school,” she said.
Alderete told KSAT.com she was handed a criminal trespass warning in what she claims was retaliation for the videos despite not violating any laws or policy rules.
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