Waco ISD improves security on middle school campus, area schools

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 2:08pm

School is back in session for Central Texas kids, and for Waco ISD police officers, that means getting back to work with improving school safety measures.

In today's world, student safety is a constant issue on everyone's mind. Just before the holidays, Tennyson Middle School in Waco underwent a major overhaul to improve the way visitors arrive on campus, which helps to meet the growing demand for heightened security.

"Prior to having this entrance, you could come into the main building and hang a left, and none of the front office staff knew that you were on campus," said Tennyson school principal, Keith Hannah.

Two new doors, directly behind the front doors were just added, and they remain locked during school hours. So, now the only way visitors can enter is through the front office.

"It is enough to detour the perpetrator from coming in without being spoken to," said David Williams, Waco ISD Police Sergeant.

Safety, officials say, comes before learning can even take place.

"Before we start talking about state assessments, we want our students to feel safe here. We want our parents to feel that their child is safe here at school," said Hannah.

This middle school is just one of several in the district being improved through the use of bond money. And, even when the projects are complete, authorities say they're always on the lookout for ways to become even safer.

It's an everyday thing. You know, it's something that we're improving everyday. We're always searching and seeking and trying to find where are vulnerabilities are," said Williams.

In addition to improved school entrances, the district also keeps 12 officers on staff to patrol campuses.

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