School districts in the Houston area closely monitored the school shooting in Connecticut on Friday. Some of them have stepped up security.
KPRC Local 2 asked school districts in the area about their visitor policies. Here are the statements they released:
The following statement is being issued in response to requests for HISD comment regarding today’s mass shooting at a Connecticut school. No further statements on the incident will be issued today.
"The Houston Independent School District joins the nation in mourning the tragic loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. Crisis management procedures, which include campus lockdown protocols, are in place at every HISD campus. The approximately 200 officers in the HISD Police Department receive regular crisis response training as well. The safety of students and staff is HISD’s top priority."
Aldine ISD requires visitors to present a Texas Driver License or Texas ID, which is scanned for child-related criminal offenses. The district implements lock-down procedures at the request of law enforcement or when campuses or surrounding communities are on security alert.
All visitors must present a state-issued license or ID which is run through Raptor, a national criminal data base. Most Houston area school district have the same policy.
Alvin ISD is aware and we are deeply saddened by the situation in Connecticut. Our District administrators and Campus Police Department have been notified and asked to increase their level of vigilance. Our district utilizes the Raptor System that runs a background check on all non-employees that visit one of our district campuses. Additionally, all volunteers that serve on a campus are run through a background check in our Human Resources Department. The volunteers are then added to a district wide database that shows they have been approved through the HR Department.
Barbers Hill ISD
Prominent notices shall be posted at each campus requiring all visitors to first report to the campus administrative office. This shall apply to parents, Board members, volunteers, social service workers, invited speakers, maintenance and repair persons not employed by the District, vendors, representatives of the news media, former students, and any other visitors. Visits to individual classrooms during instructional time shall be permitted only with the principal's and teacher's approval, and such visits shall not be permitted if their duration or frequency interferes with the delivery of instruction or disrupts the normal school environment.
REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS ON DISTRICT PREMISES
The Superintendent, working with campus administrators, shall develop and implement procedures regarding campus visitors who are identified as sex offenders. These procedures shall address:
1. Parental rights;
2. Escort by District personnel;
3. Access to common areas of the campus;
4. Access to classrooms;
5. Drop off and release of students;
6. Eligibility to serve as volunteers; and
7. Any other relevant issues.
Channelview ISD's contract deputies with Harris County Precinct 3 Constable's Office are keeping a heightened sense of awareness around the district's campuses. Per district policy, visitors must check-in at the school's main office and have their driver's license scanned into a database, which is connected to Texas DPS. If the visitor is allowed on campus, their driver's license is held at the main office until they check out to leave.
We have been monitoring the details from this tragic incident as they became available this morning. We have been sharing the information with the Police Department Command Staff and Police Officers to provide an increased awareness and visibility around all of our campuses.
Deer Park ISD
Our hearts go out to the victims of today's tragic shooting in Connecticut. We are not on alert, but we are certainly aware of what has happened. School safety is always our highest priority, and we have a number of security measures in place.
All visitors to our schools and other buildings must check in at the main office to receive a visitor badge before accessing the building. Visitors are checked into our database, which cross-references the visitor's ID with the state child criminal list. All adults in our buildings must wear an ID badge [either an employee badge or a visitor badge]. Our employees are trained to report any unauthorized visitors [people without a badge].
Fort Bend ISD
This important message is being sent to you on behalf of Fort Bend ISD Police Chief David Rider.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families in Newtown, Connecticut, after the tragic shootings at the elementary school this morning.
The District is closely monitoring the reports of the tragedy as it unfolds. Today, Fort Bend ISD Police have been checking with all of our elementary campuses to support them. The District constantly reviews emergency procedures with all campuses to ensure that school officials follow these procedures. As part of the District's crisis plan, these procedures are reviewed and evaluated on an ongoing basis and training is provided to staff members. We also practice drills with students to let them know what to do to in the event of an emergency.