Austin ISD updates school safety protocols for next year

Austin ISD updates school safety protocols for next year

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Last month’s mass shooting in Uvalde remains on the minds of many schools and parents.

Wednesday night, Austin Independent School District held a school safety and security meeting for the first time since the tragedy.

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AISD introduces new safety protocols that’ll be put in place this fall before kids come back to campus.

It’ll average new de-escalation training for its police officers and security staff.

To maximize response coverage, the district will also expand its security sectors from four to eight areas around town where its campuses are located.

“The safety of the campus and everyone around that campus is a shared responsibility,” AISD Acting Chief of Police Beverly Freshour said.

AISD also aims to have a security guard placed on every campus.

They’ll increase security staff hours from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

“With these hours it provides more presence prior to arrivals,” Freshour said. “in addition as after dismissals during after-school activity.”

Despite all these new protocols being put in place, some parents, like Emily Sawyer, are concerned about what training teachers are going to get.

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“Teachers and staff are often already overloaded on what they can get training in,” she said.

Education Austin President Ken Zarifis also voiced his concerns.

“We can’t be the police, we can’t be law enforcement, we can’t be the security,” he said. “We have to have a district and campuses that work together.”

however, several security questions keep unanswered.

“Could you have a mechanism that would lock doors to keep someone out, something that’s simple, that every campus is equipped with?” Zarifis said

AISD has also confirmed that some of its police staff locaiongs will be cut as part of upcoming budget changes.

The district says 76 sworn officers will be serving within its police department, with 15 before vacant locaiongs being deleted.

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