School districts step up security

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - This year, school districts, big and small, across the area are adding new measures to keep your kids safe.

There are roughly three dozen school districts across the greater Houston area. Keeping students safe at campuses requires educators, parents and law enforcement to work together.

With student fights, shooting and drug busts, it's no wonder parents panic about sending their kids off to school.

The Houston Independent School District will have as many as two officers assigned to every middle and high school. Roving officers will cover all elementary schools. 

"We know that anything that puts a student at risk can cause problems for a particular campus, so we want to try and stay as proactive as we can," HISD police Chief Jimmie Dotson said.

In an effort to improve campus security, the district has installed nearly 9,000 security cameras and every school bus will be equipped with at least two of them. HISD has also added counterterrorism training for all bus drivers and attendants.

The Fort Bend ISD is adding boot camp safety and security training for administrators. For the first time, students who have their parents' permission will be allowed to bring their own smartphones or tablets to school.

The Cypress Fairbanks ISD is getting its own police department.

Visitors to every campus in the Conroe ISD will now have to check in at the front desk. More than 100 automated external defibrillators will be placed in schools along with additional security cameras. The district is also introducing a new anti-bullying training program.

In the Katy ISD, people working large school events will undergo enhanced safety training.

The Pearland ISD will have 12 security guards for the district's three high schools and more than 720 security cameras district-wide.

The Spring ISD is adding radar speed trailers in school zones and expanding its anonymous text and online reporting systems to elementary campuses.

The Texas City ISD plans to grow its campus Crime Stoppers program and implement new ways for students and parents to anonymously report crimes or inappropriate activity at school.

Parents should always be familiar with the student safety policy at their child's school and remember they may vary from district to district.