Santa Fe ISD approves panic buttons, locks, and new high school entrance

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- More than a million dollars in security improvements are about to made to Santa Fe High School.

After 10 were killed in May, school board members say they're not done with improving safety ahead of the new year.

By next month, panic buttons, locks inside of classrooms, and a remodeled front entrance will be found at Santa Fe High School.

On Tuesday, school board members approved spending $150,000 on locks, $250,000 on remodeling the entrance, and $650,000 on panic buttons.

The board, however, decided against adding a six-foot perimeter fence. With a price tag of nearly $180,000, school board members expressed their concern over the perimeter costs.

Metal detectors were not on the agenda, despite many parents wanting them.

"Don't ask me if I think they work," parent Charles Neiman said. "Show me they don't. Some of these people are saying that they don't work. Well, show me that. Get one in here and put a gun in your pocket. Go through it and tell me how it doesn't work."

Another meeting took place shortly after the school board, where a group of concerned Santa Fe ISD parents discussed other ways to improve safety at city hall.

Our cameras weren't allowed inside, but parents told us they want to see more officers, dress code enforcement and metal detectors.

Another reason they met is to keep the pressure on local and state officials.

"We haven't had clear transparent communication in the past. It still doesn't seem to be real clear," parent Mark Bratcher said. "They're obviously making some good changes. They're welcoming community involvement but they're still not communicating well."

The district's safety committee will meet later this week.

Another special school board meeting will take place next Monday to discuss safety committee recommendations.

A decision on metal detectors could come at that time.

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