In wake of Sandy Hook tragedy, Nacogdoches ISD beefs up security

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Massacre are lobbying Congress this week for stronger laws against gun violence.

Meanwhile, schools across the nation continue to step up security measures. The addition of secure entry points is Nacogdoches ISD's step toward safer schools. So far one school, McMichael Middle School, has added a locked interior glass door. All visitors must show a photo ID before passing through.

"Each of our campuses has a visitor policy and a computerized system to check drivers' licenses," Chief Doug Ploch of the NISD Police Department said. "Once they make it through that check than they will be buzzed through to the rest of the school."

Similar barriers will be placed at Mike Moses Middle School and each of the elementary schools.

McMichael Middle School is one of the newer schools in the district, so it's not very difficult in protecting its vestibule. The challenge will be presented on older campuses.

Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Dr. Fred Hayes said some safety measures are quite detailed considering the design and age of the buildings being modified.

At Mike Moses Middle School a wall and a door were added at the cafeteria. Teachers will continue to monitor the nearby hallway where a locked interior door will be erected.

The Nacogdoches ISD elementary campuses, some with classroom doors leading to the outside, are waiting for secure partitions.

"I think the little bit added protection is going to make parents more comfortable sending their kids to schools," Kristi Shofner, the principal of Raguet Elementary, said. "It's going to make teachers more comfortable in the building, and our goal is to keep our kids safe."

In addition, front office staff has received additional training on how to respond to dangerous situations. It's a skill administrators hope will never have to be put into action.

It's the personal opinion of Ploch that Nacogdoches ISD should not to have an armed officer at each school. That recommendation came recently from the National Rifle Association. Tonight, 11 parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Massacre will fly on Air Force One with the president to lobby congress for measures to combat gun violence.

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