SAISD reviews security procedures following recent thefts

Shanotra Jackson accused of stealing credit cards while roaming campus halls

By Tim Gerber - Reporter/Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio woman was arrested over the weekend after she was accused of stealing from employees at local schools, which is raising questions about school safety.

Shanotra Jackson is accused of entering at least four schools in the San Antonio Independent School District and stealing credit cards from purses after going through school security screenings.

"It's very concerning," SAISD spokeswoman Leslie Price said. "I think it's a very unusual case (in) that you don't really hear of someone coming in to steal that way."

Price said SAISD is reviewing its security procedures after Jackson was able to gain access to the schools between October and February, including Smith Elementary, where she's accused of stealing the principal's credit card Jan. 25. 

Jackson is accused of stealing from an SAISD employee at Miller Academy in early February after setting up a meeting with school staff.

"This is not someone who is an actual parent of any of our students. This is someone who planned, and in at least one case, called ahead and made an appointment to meet with a nurse," Price said. "She came to the school with questions about registering their child, clearly had a plan in place, and was able somehow allegedly to be able to get into the office area and get into someone's purse and steal."

Price said employees at the campuses followed established security procedures. 

Jackson was allowed into the locked building after ringing a door bell that has a camera installed. She then gave employees her state-issued identification card that was run through the district's Raptor system, which printed out a pass.

The breakdown in security appears to have occurred once Jackson cleared the security screenings. 

Price said visitors are typically escorted throughout the building, but that did not appear to happen during Jackson's visits.

According to an arrest affidavit, Jackson would ask to visit with a nurse "to get information concerning the care of her child" and "on her way out, she goes into unlocked offices or classrooms and goes through purses or desks and will take wallets and leaves the school."

Price agreed that Jackson's thefts exposed a potential weakness in security.

"Some of this is obviously greater supervision of the person who comes in. They followed all procedures in letting (her) in, and some way she was able to wander into another area," Price said. "I think we need to look into that and see is there something more that we can do, having even more supervision around that area or what else we can do to make sure someone isn't able to steal while they're there."

News of Jackson's ability to roam SAISD's campuses comes on the heels of a security breach in the South San Independent School District.

A mother last week shared videos showing her roaming the South San High School campus disguised as a student for more than 20 minutes without being stopped or questioned.

Price said SAISD police are reminding staff to be more vigilant and to follow security procedures.

"We've already reminded all of our principals, in general, because of the need to continually be vigilant about safety procedures for all kinds of situations and this being one of those," Price said.  "Knowing that it has occurred, I think we're going to take extra precautions and be looking at what else might we do once they're in the school."

Price said SAISD police are reviewing other campus theft cases to see if they can tie them to Jackson's case.

Jackson has been charged with credit card abuse for the theft from Smith Elementary, a crime she's been previously convicted of twice.

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