Wichita Falls ISD makes campus safety a top priority after CT shooting

Wichita Falls ISD makes campus safety a top priority after CT shooting

District officials look at at ways of improving security measures after Friday's school shooting in Connecticut.
The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Friday is fueling many mixed emotions about gun control and school safety in our community.

Wichita Falls Independent School District officials want to speed up plans to improve school safety measures by making it a top priority.

The shooting stunned the nation and left many parents across the U.S.. wondering if their kids are safe at school.

WFISD Director of Security Bill Horton says parent's have been asking that very same question.

Horton says parents have been calling the Wichita Falls ISD Police Department wanting to know if it's safe for them to have their child go to school.

He wants to reassure students and parents that campuses are safe.

"We tell them, 'They're safe, you need to send them to school,'" Horton says.

As part of WFISD's Strategic Plan, district officials wanted to conduct a detailed analysis of building security and develop a plan to maximize student and staff safety at all campuses over the next five years.

However, since the Sandy Hook tragedy, Horton says making sure district facilities are safe for students, faculty and staff is now at the top of the agenda.

"We are going to put that to the top of the list and go ahead and go out and do all our audits immediately so we're going to start doing that at each school and then make recommendations of what is needed to be changed and to upgrade the security level at each school," Horton says.

In addition, Horton says all the schools will be looked at to see how current security measures can be improved, especially in older schools.

He says, "We might have to look at how can we upgrade it and how we can change a few things."

"It might be architectural. It might be just adding two or three devices but all that is on the table so you look at all of it," Horton says. "And then you make your recommendation and then you go from there."

A safety program is in place and drills are conducted throughout the year to make sure procedures are carried out correctly.

"When you do enough live drills like we have, they get use to it," Horton says. "They understand what's suppose to happen and that they're suppose to do. That's the most important thing, just get them the training and then practice. You have to practice, practice with live adults."

Horton says school personnel should be ready to handle any emergency situation.

The Wichita Falls Police Department have done active shooter training at WFISD schools over the summer.

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