Rusk ISD superintendent wants security for students without fear - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Rusk ISD superintendent wants security for students without fearfulness

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RUSK, TX (KLTV) -

Tuesday, senators in Austin debated a measure that would allow the state to pay for employees at some schools to learn to carry a gun on the job.

Several East Texas schools have adopted what is being called a "guardian policy," in which certain employees carry a concealed handgun. But another East Texas school is taking a different approach to upgrade their security.

Rusk ISD Superintendent Scott Davis' main goal is to keep his students safe, and he says you need to use common-sense tactics to achieve it.

"I don't want a prison-like atmosphere in public education. Our parents don't want that. Me, as a parent, I don't want that. Yet, I want them to be safe," Davis said.

Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, Superintendent Davis has been evaluating just how safe his campus is. Last week the school board gave Davis approval to bring in security professionals to see what upgrades can be made

"We are in the process of working with an architectural firm to see what structural changes we could make to, in essence, recreate this forced entry higher level of security when you enter a building," Davis said.

They can't tell us all the proposed changes but a couple of the security changes they shared are the installation of bullet-proof glass and electronically-locked doors at each entrance.

"There were about six security devices that we have discussed in some form or fashion that we could architecturally bring into play for campus security," Davis said.

With many extreme security measures being decided recently in schools, Davis says we have to think through the type of educational atmosphere that is being created for students.

"Where on the continuum do you fall, between having a prison like atmosphere as far as entry and exit, versus a completely open atmosphere where none of the doors are locked?" Davis asked.

Davis said the main thing is to make sure things don't change for the students.

"Our main goal is that the students don't know. That they can go about their day and just be kids and have those wonderful relationships with their peers and teachers and one day look back with fondness at their time here," Davis said.

And he's hoping his changes will do just that.

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