Keeping Texas students safe at school -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Keeping Texas students safe at school

Posted: Updated:
Newtown, CT on Friday Newtown, CT on Friday

After Friday's devastating school shooting in Newtown, CT, many parents are left wondering how safe their own kids are at school, and if more should be done to ensure their safety.

Speaking out on how to avoid these tragedies are parents from all across East Texas. Some parents are skeptical anything can be done to prevent such a tragedy.

On Facebook Friday, some East Texans expressed their wish for teachers with concealed handgun licenses to be armed in the classroom. Others feel strongly that would only bring more risks.

Many people say they're in favor of armed officers and metal detectors at every school entrance. But at what point does a school stop feeling like a school and start feeling like a maximum security prison?

"It's not like a prison, it's just what we do normally to keep ourselves safe," says Jennifer Steele, the associate director of the Texas School Safety Center in San Marcos, Texas.

Gone are the days when just anyone could step-foot on campus. Now, it's a priority for the Texas Education Code to outline safety standards in place to prevent these emergencies.

"There's access control regulations, standards, they practice drills and lock downs. They're prepared for these types of emergencies where strangers aren't supposed to be able to get into a school," says Steele.

For East Texas schools, events like Friday's are a stark reminder of the importance of daily safety procedures.

"We do review those continuously. We have training in place and we're currently looking at best practices to continue to ensure the safety of our staff and students," says Tyler ISD Director of Communications Dawn Parnell.

"We are deeply saddened by the events that took place in Connecticut. Tyler ISD's thoughts and prayers are with those families and the victims and. Just pray for the best for them," she says.

The Texas School Safety Center says Texas has regulations and standards in place to make sure schools practice prevention and response to emergencies like these. However, there is not a law that regulates how often schools must practice those drills.

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