Three months after Vernon ISD decided to bring a police officer on board to patrol the campuses. The district is also making more security changes.
Vernon ISD already has magnet doors that you have to be buzzed into but the superintendent didn’t feel that was enough.
So, now they are considering other options.
Officials with Vernon ISD are spending the summer updating its school safety plan before parents like Molly Schiwart start dropping her children off at school in the fall.
“I wish this wasn’t the time we live in but the fact is its happening close to home and in small communities and sometimes we think because we are small we’re safe and we have this distorted perception of safety so you know whatever steps we need to take to keep the children safe then that’s what we need to do,” Schiwart said.
Vernon ISD Superintendent Jeff Byrd says his number one priority is the kids.
“My number one responsibility as the leader of this district is to make sure the kids and our faculty is secure and safe. So, our number one priority is to make sure our faculty is comfortable coming to work, that our kids are safe in their school, and that the parents are okay and feel good about dropping their kids off in our school systems,” Byrd says.
In order to do that some changes were made and they took part in training.
“Last night at our board meeting, our board approved $33,000 worth of purchases for positive locks which basically can be put on all of our school classroom doors our councilors, our principles doors, anywhere students will be in the event we went into a lockdown and it’s going to allow us to barricade those doors as well,” Byrd said.
Middle school Principal Blaise Boswell thinks these new upgrades will help.
“They’ll be very very beneficial as a huge commitment by our board and they did a great job with it because it will be very very beneficial. Takes some learning curve of intermitting during a lockdown drill and such but it will be a very much needed upgrade,” Boswell said.
That’s because the threat of an active shooter at school is now an unfortunate reality. But Schiwart says she’s thankful the district is trying to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to the well being of her kids, and others in the community.
Vernon ISD is also considering arming teachers by developing a Marshall plan, which allows licensed school employees to access firearms after taking an 80-hour course run by law enforcement. The superintendent says the possible development of that program is still early stages.