TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A major effort to secure John Tyler High School is nearly finished. At a cost of just under $247,000, a wrought iron fence has gone up around the school, and the same will be done at another TISD high school.
When doors open August 23rd, the fencing project should be completed. The wrought iron fence wraps around nearly 90 acres surrounding John Tyler High School.
"[We want] to basically provide a perimeter for the school and prevent students who are unauthorized pedestrians to enter or exit the campus," said Angela Jenkins, the TISD communications director.
This comes after a teacher was killed on campus last school year. Stricter security, even a dress code will be enforced this year. On the back side of campus, the fence is chain-link with barbed wire.
"I thought it was going to look like a little caged in prison but it does not," said June Warren, a John Tyler parent. "It looks good."
"We want it to look very inviting and pleasing to the eye so additional cost and additional design was spent," said Jenkins.
They are pleased with its appearance, but parents worry the fence will not provide the security needed.
"You can't stop someone that's going to do something anyway," said Warren. "I don't care how many precautions you put up."
"If someone wants to get out, and get off the campus, they gonna get off the campus," said Rolaunda Williams, a John Tyler parent.
Angela Jenkins says they will also use portable metal detectors for random checks at both J.T. and Robert E. Lee.
"Our first priority is the safety and security of our students," said Jenkins.
TISD is very excited for a new principal to start at John Tyler and parents are hoping he can make a difference, and that last year's tragedy has opened everyone's eyes.
"That a change does need to be made in all of the high schools," said Williams. "The dress code, the education, we are trying to get these kids to understand high schools is not just something you come and have a play time at. It's to get you prepared for the workforce."
TISD says the fence will not impact or disrupt traffic flow, just keep out pedestrians. They say a similar fence will be constructed around Robert E. Lee as well but that is still in the planning phase.