NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Less than a week ago Governor Greg Abbott ordered immediate action to address the safety of Texas schools.
Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges followed that order with the release of a letter.
East Texas News has learned that the news came just as a sheriff's office reserve deputy was returning from training on the latest school safety plans, and the timing couldn't have been better.
"This door is locked," said Robert Hurst, a Homeland Security-certified reserve deputy.
Hurst owns a business that teaches ways to make people and places safer.
The certified protection professional also volunteers as a reserve sheriff's deputy with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office. Together they're sharing the latest guidance for developing standard response protocol for Nacogdoches County schools.
"The key is just that," Hurst said. "Standard, we're going to standardize across the board. Responding, but there is a very specific protocol that we can follow."
Any school campus, no matter where it's located, will have its independent security challenges. However, if a plan is in place they know what to do first."
The protocol when danger is suspected is to enact a lockout.
"No one comes in. No one goes out," Hurst said. "The neat part for the school system is they can continue as business as usual inside that school building."
Lockdowns occur when there's imminent danger.
"What they have found, there have only ever been two incidences in the United States where children inside a locked classroom were ever hurt," Hurst said.
The protocol also addresses evacuation and reunification. The protocol isn't a replacement, but rather an enhancement to existing safety plans.
"As schools, we have to learn, be able to find out things that happened in prior incidents, be able to learn from them and see how we can prevent them from happening in the future," said David Russell, the principal of Central Heights High School.
Sgt. Johnwayne Valdez and other deputies are routinely walking the perimeter of school campuses as an added procedure during these frightening times.
"Everybody wants to know what have we done to make sure this doesn't happen here," Valdez "Well, the answer to that is that we've done everything we possibly can. Is there more we can do? There's always more we can do."
"Two layers of time barriers" Hurst said. "The external doors and then the internal doors."
Safety enhancement is a defense, but this group is in agreement there's no proven method for stopping evil.
The standard response protocol follows research by the Texas School Safety Center.
Free safety guidance, comes from the foundation: I Love U Guys.