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Longview ISD School Board discusses added safety measures in schools

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Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:32 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) -School districts across the country are looking into how they can better secure their schools, and Longview ISD is no exception. In a special called board meeting on Monday they heard a report from a board trustee who attended a four-day conference put on by the Texas Association of School Boards. And the conference included many topics, but the one the board talked on about on Monday was school security.

LISD Trustee Ginia Northcutt says the Summer Leadership Institute in San Antonio is put on especially for School Board members, and a topic many paid close attention to was school security.

“They just showed how you can do some simple things that really increase the security of your school building,” Northcutt said.

She said law enforcement and an architect spoke about how to more securely build a new school. A safer way to do it is no line of sight from an outside window down an interior hall.

“So, if you are someone who intends to do harm at a school, you can no longer stand at a door and have sight line into the school system,” Northcutt said.

LISD Superintendent James Wilcox also attended the conference, and he says in the new LISD schools, hallways can be seen from outside. However, they can install:

“A reflective glaze on the outside doors, the vestibule doors, where you can see out, but the intruder can’t see in,” Wilcox said.

Door placement is important at the entrance of the school.

“To separate that vestibule so that one person cannot stand in the vestibule and hold two doors open,” Northcutt said.

And that’s not possible in the lobbies of the new LISD schools. Northcutt says the security expert at the conference told them:

“To date there has been no security breach on a school where interior doors are locked,” Northcutt said.

At the conference they were told if there’s a security breach, nerves can make using keys difficult.

“When there’s an intruder on campus, obviously the first thing to go is your manual dexterity; the teachers in the classroom locking classroom doors should be very simple. There should be a thumb lock on that door. And you easily just lock the door,” Northcutt said.

These are relatively cheap fixes for extra security, but Wilcox points out cost shouldn’t be an issue.

“But when you’re looking at the safety of your students, it doesn’t matter. You know it’s something that you need to look forward,” Wilcox said.

The four-day Summer Leadership Institute in San Antonio also covered many other topics including preparing a master plan for a bond election and addressing the teacher shortage.

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