Grayson Co. kids go back to school in "safe environment"

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- With bunny tails behind their backs and bubbles in their mouths, Sherman and Denison kids marched back to school today.

Educators and administrators made the day look seamless, but take a closer look and you'll see a network of behind-the-scenes security.

"Security and safety is of upmost importance. That's one of the first things we must do," Sherman ISD Assistant Superintendent Tyson Bennett, Ph.D.

Bennett gave us an exclusive look at how Sherman schools keep it on lock.

"Parents or community [members] would come into the security vestible, which is a secure location," Bennett said.

Every Sherman school has what Bennett calls a security vestibule, an airtight entrance-way to the school.

"Then they would present their driver's license to the front office attendant, who would then run it through our raptor system. Print out a badge for them that they would put on, and then they would be able to unlock this front entrance here and be able to enter into the building," Bennett said.

With money from the most recent school bond, Sherman ISD vamped up its surveillance with the raptor security system.

"It will flag any users that try to enter the building that are registered sex offenders," Sherman ISD 'Raptorware' operator Kyle Harris said.

If someone entering the building is a registered sex offender, the raptor system alerts police.

"A lot of other Texas districts are using the software. More and more every year, I would assume," Harris said.

Denison schools also take similar precautions.

At Denison's Hyde Park Elementary School, visitors have to go through the front office and sign in before they can enter the school.

"It's my number one priority that students feel safe, that teachers feel safe," Hyde Park Elementary School Principal Regina Prigge said.

With funds from Denison's school bond, they too made some security enhancements.

"All of our classrooms have interior doors now, so it's created a safer environment for our students," Prigge said.

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