Houston-area schools amp up security

Katy ISD upgrades campus security measures

KATY - As children across the country return to school in the wake of the Newtown elementary school tragedy, some no longer feel a sense of safety.

Katy Independent School District officials took measures to reassure parents that it is doing everything in its power to protect their children.  On Monday morning, the school district increased the number of police officers on and around campuses; the heightened security will last throughout the week.

"It makes me very happy that we have higher security around and we did get an email, though, saying they are just really hyping it up. They already do an excellent job here," parent Ashley Harkins said. "(My son) asked a few questions. I talked about it right when I picked him up on Friday, so he isn't too concerned about it. But he was really upset about it when it happened."

Monica Washington talked to her son about what to do if a shooter ever got on campus. It included the importance of taking drills seriously.

"I think it's very important that they get the kids prepared in case anything happens," Washington said.

Meanwhile, Katy ISD reminded campus staff of safety procedures, including keeping doors locked and questioning any suspicious people on campus.

School officials said upgraded security measures are already in place to help control access to the campus -- to make sure visitors cannot walk freely through the buildings.

HISD and other districts throughout southeast Texas require visitors to check in before they are allowed access to schools. Safety drills are also common.

"What we try to do is make sure those drills we conduct are drills of that nature that occurred in Connecticut, which is an active shooter drill," said Jimmy Dotson, HISD's police chief.

On Friday, Houston-area school districts released statements about their school security procedures. Click here to read those statements.

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