Houston area school districts to increase security measures after Santa Fe HS shooting

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Several school districts in Houston and the surrounding areas are stepping up patrols through the end of the school year. (KTRK)

In the wake of Friday's tragic shooting at Santa Fe High School, surrounding school districts have released the following statements to increase security measures.

Multiple districts discussed in expanding the number of police officers they have at the schools and urged parents and students to report any type of threats to the school administration.

ALDINE ISD:
We want to assure you that school safety is a constant concern for us and will remain vigilant in our efforts to provide the most secure campuses and facilities for our students and staff.
Aldine ISD has many layers of security at our schools including,

* Well trained campus-based officers at middle and high school campuses
* Patrol officers monitoring the district 24/7,
* Single entry access with metal detector and ID scan at our entrances
* Surveillance cameras at every campus
* Metal detector checks for all students at intermediate - high school campuses
* Campus safety drills conducted throughout the year

In addition, our police officers have participated in active shooter training and attend training throughout the year.

Aldine ISD seeks your support and assistance by stressing to your children the importance of following all campuses procedures and processes. We also remind parents to be compliant with campuses procedures and routines when visiting the school.

ALIEF ISD:
Out of an overabundance of caution, Alief ISD is operating on high alert this final week of school with increased police presence in and around schools. Backpacks will not be permitted for high school, middle and intermediate school students.

This year, AISD has taken several steps to increase safety integrity including:

* Strict adherence to sign-in and identification procedures for visitors on campus
* Implementation of random weapons checks on students carried out using our walk through metal-detectors as well as our metal detecting wands
* Increasing the number of active emergency drills
* Construction of additional campus security vestibules
* Increase of AISD police patrols and presence in and around campuses
* Requiring printed photo student IDs at the secondary level.
* Increase in installation of camera surveillance systems across the district

ALVIN ISD:
Officials with Alvin ISD have increased police presence throughout the district.

The district also partners with an outside firm for additional security measures that have been put in place. Some of those procedures are kept confidential, according to Alvin ISD.

Crisis counselors are on hand to help students at school campuses.

Parents are reminded to discuss with their children the seriousness of social media posting. The Alvin ISD Police Department Dispatch is always available by calling 281-331-2320.

BAY CITY ISD:
Bay City Junior High said on Friday that students will not be allowed to bring backpacks the week of May 21 - May 25.

In the hours following the shooting at Santa Fe High School, the district also said that it will have an increased security presence district-wide as a precautionary measure.

CLEAR CREEK ISD:
Clear Creek will be increasing police visibility at each school for the remainder of the school year, as a reassurance to families and children. In closing, talking with children about the school shooting can be difficult for even the most-trained adult, which is why the school district is offering the attached resources for parents and staff from the National Association of School Psychologists. Talking to Children About Violence.

CY-FAIR ISD:
Superintendent Dr. Mark Henry released a message on the security students and staff can expect to see through the end of the year in the Cy-Fair school district.

It reads in part:
In an effort to end the year on a positive note, I have asked our chief of police, Eric Mendez, to increase police presence on every campus. I was pleased to learn from Chief Mendez that the CFPD's thorough recruiting efforts recently resulted in a fully-staffed police force. This will be a tremendous help in bolstering the protection of each of our 91 campuses and support facilities.

I have also communicated to each principal the need for a strict enforcement of dress code. Through the end of the school year, we are asking that no students wear trench coats or other heavy clothing that could potentially conceal weapons. While we want students to dress in clothing that is comfortable in their learning environment, we feel any extra safety measure that assists our officers and administrators should be utilized.

I ask that you assist us through this transition by communicating these efforts to your students. During these anxious times, vigilance is key.

Thank you for your continued support.

DAYTON ISD:
Dayton ISD has not received any threats but with the tragic events that have taken place in schools across the country, Dayton ISD is taking a proactive stance and will have an additional police presence on all campuses. Again, no threats have been made but as a precautionary measure, additional law enforcement from Harris County Precinct 3, along with Dayton Police Department, will be monitoring all Dayton ISD campuses. Student and staff safety is always our utmost concern.

FORT BEND ISD:
The district made an announcement about school safety on its website, saying in part: Fort Bend ISD is committed to the safety of all students and staff.

You can read about the district's safety procedures and training on the school's website.

HISD:
The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Our district has taken several steps this year to increase our safety procedures and prepare our staff and students in case of an emergency, including:
* Increasing the number of active emergency drills at HISD campuses and facilities
* Selecting, training, and activating a standing Emergency Response Team to respond to threats districtwide
* Conducting realistic, hands-on officer training on how to react to an armed assailant
* Providing officers with additional safety equipment to be used in the event of an emergency situation

In addition, we work closely with our law enforcement partners, such as the Houston Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff's Office, and the METRO Police Department, as well as area school district police and university police departments.

KATY ISD:
Katy ISD stated that the district and school officials from every campus regularly address emergency situations and conduct the appropriate emergency preparedness drills. There will also be an increased presence of Katy ISD police officers.

KLEIN ISD:

Klein ISD will have officers working extended days to provide more coverage on campuses for the remainder of the school year.

Additionally, entrance screening technology at elementary campuses have been installed and are working to provide additional secure vestibules.
We also encourage our students and parents to partner with us in this effort. Klein is our community and we rely upon all of our students and families because you are key partners in Keeping Klein Safe. As always, if anyone makes a disclosure to you that is concerning, please share it immediately with a school administrator and/or law enforcement officer.

PASADENA ISD:
Pasadena ISD sends our thoughts and prayers to the Santa Fe ISD community. Our condolences go to all the families impacted by this senseless tragedy. We have extended our support to the school district and community of Santa Fe. Pasadena ISD Police and staff will remain vigilant and will continue on heightened alert. Additional guidance counselors are available to students upon request. If you have concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child's campus or use our "See Something Say Something" website.

PEARLAND ISD:
Our hearts are with our neighbors in Santa Fe after this morning's shooting at Sante Fe High School.

We want to reassure parents that Pearland ISD is committed to the safety and security of all students, staff and visitors. Although many security procedures are confidential to ensure the safety of our students and staff, we can share a few proactive measures that are in place.

All school employees and administration recently participated in CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events) training led by the Pearland Police Department.

Additionally, there will be an increased police presence in and around all Pearland schools for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year. Along with the increased police presence, uniformed police officers will be at every Pearland ISD school.

One of the most important safety measures we as a District and community can take is being vigilant and reporting any suspicious behaviors or issues of potential concern. We encourage the reporting of suspected dangers to the appropriate authorities.

The district said it works closely with the Pearland Police Department and employs 11 School Resource Officers (SROs) at all junior high and high school campuses.

Pearland ISD is also working with the City of Pearland to employ additional SROs for next school year.

For more information, visit www.pearlandisd.org/safety.

SPLENDORA ISD:
Splendora ISD is implementing stricter safety measures for the remainder of the school year, including extra law enforcement personnel.

School officials have asked that parents DO NOT send students to school with backpacks or bags. In addition, all students will be asked to take off jackets/hoodies during arrival. This new procedure is being put into place across the entire district.

Principals will be communicating this to students. Students who may not have received this message and who bring backpacks/bags to school will be required to leave them in the office and may pick them up at the end of the day.

A statement issued reads in part: "We understand this change may be disruptive. ... As a school community, we must all work together to face the new reality we have been given. We will continue to review all safety measures for the remainder of the year and over the summer, and will continue to provide proactive communication. Our top priority continues to be the safety of our students, staff, and schools. If you have any information about threats to student safety, please share that through our anonymous Tip Line located on our app and website."

SPRING ISD:
Spring ISD is committed to the safety and security of all students and staff. While many security procedures are confidential, the following proactive measures are in place.
An active shooter plan in place with emergency response staff well trained on the plan.
Safety drills are practiced throughout the year to ensure that staff and students know what to do in an emergency situation.
Every campus has a trained Safety Officer, usually the campus assistant principal, on site.
Spring ISD police officers are also on site at all secondary campuses while other district police officers patrol elementary campuses daily and are prepared to respond quickly when needed.
And as an extra precaution, we will have an increased police presence in and around all Spring ISD schools throughout the remainder of this school year.

SPRING BRANCH ISD:
Spring Branch ISD said in a statement on Friday that the district is standing by the community in Santa Fe and offering support during this time.

They added: "We also are reaching out to our families, knowing that your children's questions, fears and emotions may come forth in the aftermath of yet another school shooting. We once again share with you tips for speaking with your children provided by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). More is available at www.nasponline.org and at the American Psychological Association website http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/aftermath.aspx. As always, our counselors and Communities in Schools staff members are prepared to support your children."

"Since the Parkland shooting in February, we have revisited our safety and security protocols, updated our safety plans and continued to conduct drills at our schools. Our central office staff has reviewed and updated our response plan in the event of an emergency. SBISD Police continue working with federal and other local law enforcement agencies to improve and enhance our security efforts."

The district urges parents and children to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious to the Spring Branch ISD police who can be reached 24/7 at 713-984-9805.

SWEENY ISD:
The district's police department posted this information on its Facebook page: You may notice an increased police presence around Sweeny ISD campuses throughout the remainder of this school year. Like many other ISD's around the area, we are providing additional security in the wake of the recent events at Santa Fe High. For operational security reasons, we cannot discuss the specific amounts, locations, or details of our security plans. I do want to assure you that there have been no known threats to our campuses at this time and this is purely precautionary. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the affected families, students, and first responders!

The post also tagged Sweeny Elementary School, Sweeny Junior High, and Sweeny High School. For more information, visit the Sweeny ISD Police Department on Facebook.

TEXAS CITY:
In the wake of the shooting, Texas City said it will be bringing in additional deputies through the last day of school May 31. The district contracts with the Galveston County Sheriff's Office for security. The Texas City Police Department and La Marque Police Department are also partners.

Superintendent Dr. Rodney Cavness sent a letter home to parents highlighting these areas:

Bags and Backpacks
If your child does not have to bring a backpack, gym bag, or purse to school, please keep these items at home. If they do need to bring a bag to school, check the bag for prohibited items. Effective Monday, bags may be subject to search under heightened security measures.

Social Media Monitoring
As adults, we know children gravitate to social media as a means of communication and collaboration. We also know this is a place where threats, credible or not, are created and shared quickly. Please monitor your child's social media account and remind them to always be respectful online. In the event they see a post that is suspicious or threatening, tell them not to share it but rather report it immediately to you or a trusted adult.

All threats will be investigated by law enforcement and criminal charges will be pursued when appropriate. Making a terroristic threat involving a school is a felony offense, as is possessing certain unlawful weapons, including firearms, on school premises.

See Something, Say Something
Whether it is a post on social media or suspicious behavior, please say something. Here are ways to report anonymous tips. The most powerful weapon in the effort to improve school safety is for our students and families to partner with the schools.

Call: 409-916-0TIP (08470
Email: crimestoppers@tcisd.net
Smart Phone App: smart phone free app called P3 Campus

Rules about IDs, Dress Code and Doors
Parents, we have rules in place to help with safety. Some of those include wearing visible IDs, not wearing oversized clothing, and not opening side doors even for other students. We need students to comply and take control of their own safety and the safety of everyone on their campus. We need to remind your children that those rules that they may not like are in place to keep them safe.

To read the superintendent's full message on school safety measures already in place and the training required for the staff, visit the Texas City ISD website.

TOMBALL ISD:
The district released a message saying that it not only "constantly evaluates the layout and architecture of the buildings, the security devices, the partnerships with law enforcement, the counseling and training of students, the line of communication with students, parents, and community members, the procedures for visiting campuses and the training and drills which Tomball ISD faculty, staff and students undergo to be prepared" but is also now reviewing its campus security measures.

That means the district is looking at "secured access points such as doors and gates, as well as devices such as cameras, and policies related to visitors and events."

It's also working with the Texas School Safety Center operated from Texas State University and other safety professionals, including the Houston Police Department SWAT to conduct a safety audit.

Security will also be increased for the remainder of the school year.

You can view the district's full message here.

VAN VLECK ISD:
The district and Superintendent John O'Brien released a statement on their safety and security measures that says, in part:

We want to assure our families that our district and schools have an updated emergency operations plan that has been created, reviewed and audited. The members of our staff have safety training, and we conduct periodic drills to ensure that everyone knows their role during a crisis. Our district's school also has specific protocols for entry to our schools, and we appreciate the understanding of our parents as we enforce these protocols for the safety of our children. All campuses' doors are locked and controlled, and only controlled by front office personnel. The safety of our students remains our highest priority.

Van Vleck ISD remains watchful for any threats and encourages everyone to report any concerns directly to your campus principals or the Matagorda County Sheriff's Department.

You can view the full message on the Van Vleck ISD website.
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