TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Let the negotiations begin. TISD officials have been given the go ahead to flesh out the details with a state security consultant group. Security's been tight for nearly two weeks now, following that fatal stabbing inside a John Tyler classroom.
"Two weeks ago, we had a very tragic event that shook everyone to their core," said Angela Jenkins, TISD's public information officer.
Now, there are new security doors as one more line of defense.
"When you enter into a new campus, you have to, the way the enclosures work, and the security on the doors, they're locked and it funnels all of our guests and visitors into the main office," said Jenkins.
Slowly, but surely, TISD's adding those features to existing facilities. Workers spent much of the afternoon installing the locking mechanism for the new doors just inside the John Tyler High School main entrance. The work order was filed at the beginning of the year, and the doors, installed last week. The focus is on the future.
"What else can we do?" said Jenkins.
Jenkins says no contract has been signed, but a representative with the Texas School Safety Center addressed the board during Monday night's meeting. Associate Executive Director Billy Jacobs says the goal is safety.
"We have gang specialists, we have individuals who deal with bullying, violence [and] emergency operations planning," said Jacobs.
"Part of the services that they assist with us as a district is speaking with students and getting their feedback...speaking with faculty and staff and getting their feedback...speaking with parents," said Jenkins.
"They bring a new set of eyes," said Carol Saxenian, the John Tyler High School principal. "We'll see what they have to suggest and offer."
An open mind, and, in essence, an open door policy for safety. Officials tell us the next step is training staff members to use the new metal detectors and security wands. The district has no plans to change the security measures at John Tyler until security specialists make their recommendations.