Walnut Bend ISD strengthen campus security using different components

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 6:04 PM CDT
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GAINESVILLE, Texas (KXII) -Walnut Bend ISD, comprised of an elementary and middle school, has worked all summer to strengthen campus security by adding new components.

Such as arming staff members and utilizing an app designed for emergencies.

Teri Taylor, a middle school math teacher at Walnut Bend says, “that is shocking, when I first started teaching, we didn’t even keep the doors locked.”

In the wake of Uvalde, Walnut Bend ISD reviewed its own security audits.

Superintendent Ken Kemp said, “bit of rework on our doors, we found that some of them didn’t work properly or like they should so we spent some funds to make sure they opened and closed properly, would lock behind students if they left out a door.”

And the district is also embracing technology.

“We implemented a new app for lockdowns and emergencies,” said Kemp.

The app is strictly for faculty and staff and can be used to check in, message staff, and will also inform law enforcement.

“The first thing I did was reach out to the emergency responder that is closest to this facility and that person has it installed on their personal device so if there is an emergency here, that person will be notified just like he was a staff member,” added Kemp.

The district has implemented a program allowing some faculty to voluntarily carry guns on campus.

“Anyone who is looked at for that program will undergo a psychological evaluation, two they will be trained by a group of trainers that are special sought out for training school defenders and that three will be approved by the board and myself”

According to Superintendent Kemp, parents seem receptive.

“We can focus on the learning and the teaching and I think the kids feel very secure and safe here and it’s just a really good environment,” Taylor added.

While the emergency app is unavailable to parents, Walnut Bend ISD has a community wide app.

In the app, parents have access to the latest information and there is even a tip-line where they can add any comments or concerns.