Dallas ISD checks elementary schools for safety



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Posted on December 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 19 at 11:39 PM

DALLAS – Dallas ISD police are checking each of the district's 150 elementary schools to ensure that they are safe. 

Officers have been walking through the schools this week. 

“We are not trying to make the schools a dungeon, locking people in. But what we do want to do is to make it more difficult for those who don't have a need to come to school to come in," said Assistant Police Chief Bill Avera. "Just looking at making sure that the target is as hardened as we can make it." 

At Zaragoza Elementary School in East Dallas, officers found some places that are too easy for people to gain access. For instance, a chain is all that keeps someone from coming through a gate to access campus. Children have their recess in a city park next to the school.

"The city doesn't limit who can access the parks," Avera said. 

It is too easy for anyone to get in, so for now DISD and the Dallas Police Department are patrolling the park and the school until the district adds more security measures.  

Until last Friday, many at Zaragroza didn't think someone could go into an elementary school and kill small children. But days after a shooter left 20 children dead in Connecticut, there is no such thing as a campus being too secure.

"I think we are moving in the right direction, we put procedures in place that will help monitor our building, lock our doors at recess, check people in, and training students not to open the doors for anyone," said Principal Carlotta Thomas. 

Every elementary school in Dallas has until Friday to submit its security concerns. The district will then decide how it's going to add more security and how they will fund it after each case is identified.

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