Tyler school leaders discuss safety after Connecticut shooting

TYLER (KYTX) - The tragedy in Connecticut has East Texas school leaders discussing the best way to protect their students.

We spoke to Tyler ISD, as well as other local schools, about what they do to protect their students while they're in the classroom.

A doorbell is next to the main entrance of the Kids Kaleidoscope in Tyler.

"Ask who they are and find out if they really need to be here or not. If they don't, we won't let them come in," said Liz McGee, Kids Kaleidoscope Director.

Director Liz McGee said all doors to the child care center are locked during the day. Her staff is trained to ask questions to anyone they don't recognize.

"We may not know a lot of dads that come in, because generally moms are who drop off," said McGee.

They don't know want any strangers walking the hallways with their young students.

"It's always better to approach someone and ask if they're suppose to be there, rather than just letting it go and ignoring it," said McGee.

Parents' information, along with driver's license and emergency contacts are kept in the main office.

"Basically we are like a second parent in a lot of ways to the children during the day," said Libby Dixon.

Teacher Libby Dixon said she's been reviewed on all the security and policy and procedures.

She said parents have to send notes to let her if someone else will be picking up their children.

"Part of our job is caring for the children and taking care of them while they're away from their parents," said Dixon.

For Tyler ISD, one of the biggest school districts in East Texas, security is always at the forefront.

"We do require visitors to check in, check out. We use the raptor system," said Dawn Parnell, Tyler ISD spokeswoman.

The raptor system requires visitors to use their driver's license to check in and out of the schools. School doors are always locked and visitors can only enter most schools through the main office.

Students and staff are also trained on what to do if there's an emergency, such as a shooting on campus.

"We do ongoing drills and practice procedures to make sure that staff is informed on how to react in an emergency situation. We work with other law enforcement agencies to make sure we have best practices in place," explained Parnell.

For both the school district and child care centers, such as Kids Kaleidoscope, it's about keeping their students protected.

"I just keep thinking this can't keep going on. We just can't keep having this happen," said McGee.


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