EXCLUSIVE: TISD security interview

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - John Tyler High School's new metal detectors are on their way and training is underway. TISD police chief, Rex Brown expects a detector at John Tyler and one at Robert E. Lee within the next couple of weeks. Security is definitely a priority, but metal detectors, or none, the district says it's not its only priority. Brown says students won't be told when or where the detectors will be installed. They will be strategically and spontaneously placed.

"We would probably just have the class do it classroom by classroom," said Brown. "Therefore you've only got 20 students at a time."

Chief Brown says the portable machines break down quickly. They'll move, randomly, across each campus.

"We have three zones...top zone, middle zone and the bottom zone," said Brown. "Sensitivity button...depending on how much metal is in the floor, you have to adjust sensitivity each and every time."

They are detecting even the smallest threat...head to toe.

"This one goes off, we know the alert is going to be somewhere in this area," said Brown.

He calls it a super deterrent, but not a catch all.

"There are very few one stop shop solutions to any of the problems that we deal with, both in schools and in society now," said TISD Superintendent Dr. Randy Reid. "A lot of pieces can be a part of that solution."

Some of those pieces include new discipline centers at the John Tyler campus and adjustments to the alternative education program.

"We've already begun to place more children there for, potentially, longer periods of time," said Reid. "If they don't show improvement."

Dr. Reid says the overall goal is to educate students safely.

"The greatest, most important thing that we can do, is engage our kids - to be more connected with our student body," said Reid.

The district is working with a team from the Texas School Safety Center to review safeguards already in place. The public is invited to a special meeting Thursday at 7 pm at the Plyler Instructional Complex. Safety Center staff and district officials will let parents and community know where they are in the safety audit process.

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