LINDALE (KYTX) - Since the Sandy Hook shooting, many East Texas schools are considering different ways to keep students safe. Monday night, Lindale ISD held a community meeting to talk about some of it's new measures.
About 75 parents showed up to find out what safety measures are already in place and learn about a new safety feature coming to the district. The district also wanted parents' input and suggestions, making student safety a community effort.
Lindale Superintendent Stan Surratt says, "The Sandy Hook tragedy made every superintendent, every administrator, every school board member, even every parent and community member second guess their own campuses and schools."
Right now - the only doors unlocked at the junior high and high schools are the front doors. The offices there have a direct line of site to visitors. However, Surratt says at the elementary schools, where the view is a little more obscured, all doors will be locked. Plus, the district is adding a new safety feature in just a couple weeks.
"It's a buzzer system where if a visitor or parent comes up in the middle of the day, they'll have to be buzzed in by the office. They'll talk through that door to the office and we'll go through our normal screening procedures," Surratt said.
Doors at the junior high school and the high school are already secured and they're great at limiting access. Those buildings are a lot newer than the elementary schools which is why they're the ones getting the upgrades.
Scott Richey's 8-year-old son goes to one of those elementary schools.
"It's terrific," Richey says about the upgrades. "They need to take steps and make changes."
During the meeting he heard from school leaders, and local law enforcement about what measures are already in place.
"We have video surveillance all over our campuses, hallways, entryways already," Surratt said.
There is also a system that screens sex offenders, fingerprints employees and volunteers, and a community wide notification system in case of emergencies - and Surratt wants even more suggestions.
"It's good to be involved," Richey said, "to be included and be involved."
Parents like Richey are proud to be a part of a community that is working together to keep it's children safe.
There have also some great community suggestions made, including hiring more campus officers, building campus security shacks, having volunteers monitor hallways, and adding fencing to campuses.
Surratt will take these suggestions and talk with the board about which measures they can carry out to keep kids safer.
The superintendent also has told the community that Lindale ISD will not arm its teachers, like some local school districts are doing. He says he will leave that job in the hands of trained law enforcement officers.