Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Allen ISD ups security at all elementary schools
The district is making slow changes in lieu of changes in state law.
ALLEN Allen ISD will add an extra security measure to its elementary schools next week when it begins keeping their front doors locked during school hours.
All of the district's 16 elementary schools will be equipped with door locks that require receptionists to buzz in visitors and a camera that will allow them to see who is at the door. If required, they can ask the visitor to hold up a photo ID to verify their identity.
No changes will be made to normal student drop-off or pick-up procedures.
“It's a way to put another check on people getting into the building,” said Tim Carroll, district public information officer.
The district will test the new system Monday before implementing it Tuesday.
Several of the district's elementary schools were already equipped with cameras and buzzer doors, and those without them were retrofitted during the holiday break.
All side doors at the schools are already kept locked.
The district also plans on creating a task force that will look into further security enhancements. Carroll said some of those changes may be procedural and not as visible as the addition of cameras or locking doors.
But that process could take time, as the district is anticipating new state legislation regarding campus security. Carroll said the district is hesitant to take a big step until it sees what the state does.
The district's secondary schools do not currently have a similar system in place. The district is looking into the possibility, but those campuses have much higher traffic during the day than elementary schools, according to Carroll.
Allen High School alone houses about 6,000 people on a daily basis, he said.
The new security measure adds to those already in place at the district, including Raptor V-soft scanners that run a visitor's drivers license through a criminal database.
The district also has eight school resource officers. Allen High School has three officers on campus, Lowery Freshman Center has two and each of the district's three middle schools have one. The middle school officers also split time at the district's elementary schools.
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