Dads volunteer extra security at Wells ISD

WELLS, TX (KTRE) - There are some new big dogs on campus - watchdogs that is.

The Wells Independent School District has rebooted a national program from the Center of Fathering called Watchdogs Dads of Great Students.

For the past couple of months, more than 30 dads have been walking the halls and monitoring crime.

The program is more than a security measure. It's also a way to keep kids motivated inside the classroom.

Pastor David Goodwin has a new name: big man on campus.

Since August, the Wells Falvey Methodist Church pastor has been securing the halls at Wells High School and Elementary School.

He is making sure the kids stay in, and intruders stay out.

"We've had a great response," said Goodwin, who is the Watchdog coordinator. Dads and grandfathers have come to me afterwards and they say, 'Oh. I had such a wonderful time when can I sign up again?'  And the kids really respond to them well.'"

The Watchdog program stems from the National Center on Fathering, a sponsor of the campaign that was created back in 1998 after the tragic Jonesboro, Arkansas school shootings.

"To be a watchdog you can be an uncle, a grandfather, a pastor, a church worker, or any positive male role model in the community." said Dale Morton, the Wells ISD superintendent.

Anyone can sign up However, before you can roam the halls, each candidate has to go through an extensive background check.

"It mitigates risks -anytime people know that you have a security or folks on campus performing a secure role - knowing that it's happening is a positive thing," Morton said.

While the dads aren't trained security personnel - Goodwin says their presence is positive for children.

"We care about them, and I think this program provides that opportunity to tell the kids we really care about you, and we are worried about your education, and we want you to do well in life and a lot of these kids need that," Goodwin said.

First grader Katie Goodwin said she thinks what her dad is doing is pretty cool.

"I think it's very good, and I think all the dads and moms can come every day or every weekend," Katie said.

When she was asked if she thinks her dad is doing a good job, Katie said, "I think he does it really great."

And it looks like the other kids agree.

Anyone who wants to sign up is asked to contact the school for more information.

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.