TISD making security changes

By Joe Terrell - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Three new metal detectors are on their way to Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High Schools. This is just one of several safeguards Tyler ISD announced Monday night, as the district's response to the stabbing death of John Tyler teacher Todd Henry.

Another meeting took place at South Central Church of Christ in Tyler. Organizers say they want to address a number of things - not just the stabbing and security, but other issues they have with TISD. They also say they want to make sure the young man at the center of the incident, 16-year-old Byron Truvia, is treated fairly throughout the criminal proceedings. In the meantime, TISD officials tell us they're taking several steps to address safety and security at both their high schools, specifically John Tyler. But some East Texans are still questioning whether those three metal detectors, and then some, is enough.

Last week's stabbing sent John Tyler into lockdown. Security is tight and it's getting tighter.

"At no time will the students know when or where these detectors will be set up," said Angela Jenkins, with TISD. "[They could be] at an exterior door...they could be used at an interior door maybe a classroom, or particular hallway."

Communications Director Angela Jenkins says the layout of each school makes it difficult to monitor every door, every minute of the day. Also on the way are eight new security wands and possibly two new security consultants.

"What we want to do is bring in a safety and security expert to examine what we have in place...are we making the right decisions, here," said Jenkins.

The district is also considering changes with it's alternative education program. The Plyler Complex only accommodates students for up to 30 days.

"We've got some ideas already, to use for a temporary setting for some of the students that might need to go for a longer stay," said TISD Superintendent Dr. Randy Reid.

It was one of the issues Reid discussed Monday night.

"The proof will be in the eating of the pudding," said John Tyler parent Clyde Sanders, who attended the meeting.

"No matter what we do, there's always going to be the threat, or potential for something to happen," said Sanders. "We need to stay vigilant on this and make sure that for generations to come, TISD is the best school district it can be."

For Sanders, the issue goes beyond just safety.

"If a child has an environment that's conducive to learning, they learn skills that'll last a lifetime," said Sanders.

The district expects all three of those portable metal detectors to arrive within the next couple of weeks - one for each high school. The third will be used where and as needed. Meanwhile, Tuesday, there were 12 officers at TISD, and as far as the security consultants are concerned, TISD board members are supposed to take up that issue at their meeting next Monday, October 5th. That meeting is open to the public.

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