TISD Heeds U.S. School Alerts

Following a warning from the FBI that specific schools in the U.S. could be targets of terrorists, at least one local school district is taking every precaution.
Although no Texas schools are mentioned specifically in the warning, Tyler Independent School District is heeding the warning. Friday, TISD sent letters to school principals advising campuses to keep a watchful eye.TISD Police Chief Jimmy Mount and the Tyler Police Department have formed a new partnership to protect more than 17,000 TISD students.
"I spoke to (Tyler Police) Chief Swindle yesterday," said Mount. "He's going to have an officer assigned to each school which will routinely stop by and check on each school that they are assigned during their regular beat."
Officers are advised to watch for any suspicious activity or people around the 27 TISD schools. "Anything that might be out of the ordinary, just walk through or any suspicious people or vehicles that's around," said Mount. "The schools have all been notified and they are all on the look for anything that might not fit."
Pattie Porter, counselor at Andy Woods Elementary helped develop the district's detailed crisis handbook, issued just this week.
"There is a variety of emergency response plans in this booklet," said Porter. "Everything from bomb threats, and if there is something that occurs with a bus. There's also a checklist for teachers and counselors, fires, gas leaks, hostages."
Beginning next week, the district will practice school lockdown and shelter and place drills. TISD is also working with Tyler's emergency response workers on the proper actions.
"You can prepare as much as you want to and that's what we've tried to do," said Porter. "(We) can't cover everything but we've tried very hard."
Jacksonville ISD and Longview ISD both said there are no plans for any increased security at this time. However, both districts said they have long had emergency response plans in place.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com