NEISD to fast track keyless entry after Florida school shooting
SAN ANTONIO - In the fall of 2015, voters approved a $499 million bond for the North East Independent School District that included funding for safety upgrades.
"Monthly lock down drills, diversified lock down drills, monitor your cameras," said Jen Patterson.
These are safety measures parent Patterson thinks about daily, and those thoughts have multiplied since the South Florida shooting where 17 people were killed.
It was another reminder of how vulnerable children are, bringing school safety top of mind for school administrators and parents alike.
Something else Patterson noticed is that her son's new elementary school doesn't have key less entry.
"They have a little magnet on their badges which provides easier access into buildings," Patterson said. "In the event that there is a situation going on you don't need a stumbling, fumbling person. You need to have to be able to have quick access to get in and out of a building."
Aubrey Chancellor with NEISD said there is a plan to install keyless entry in all the schools and they are on schedule.
In fact it was scheduled to be completed at most campuses within the next year.
"I think that should've been a reprioritization," Patterson said. "We didn't have Florida 2 years ago, but we did have Sandy Hook, we did have Columbine."
District administrators are on the same page and have been talking about expediting security measures since the South Florida shooting. Just this past Friday, NEISD got the green light to fast track keyless entry.
"We will be able to do it in half the time that we anticipated, so that by the time school starts in the fall, will have them," Chancellor said.
NEISD superintendent Brian Gottardy wants parents to know recent discussions about what more can be done have resulted in some changes including monthly lockdown drills effective immediately. The District has also hired a company to monitor all social media for school threats.
"Those people will sit on a daily basis all the time, 24-7 and be looking at social media. If there's something that they deem a threat, then they will alert our police department and we will begin an investigation," said Chancellor.
Another secutirty measure funded by the bond, an additional 450 security cameras.
Once installed there will be more than 8000 cameras district wide.