GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Grand Prairie ISD is just two weeks away from the start of the school year. In the wake of the Uvalde mass shooting, district officials want to make sure parents and students feel safe returning.
On Monday, the school district held a safety summit to discuss their efforts. Automatic locking doors, a visitor management system and random metal detector checks are just some of the things the district says it’s doing to keep everyone safe.
Parents and students came with a lot of questions.
“We’re just concerned about what the school contingencies are as far as protocols, safety,” Grand Prairie ISD parent James Braziel said.
Student Logan Rodriguez asked, “What are we going to do if someone comes to school with a gun or a firearm?”
Grand Prairie Police Chief Daniel Scesney is hoping to put their minds at ease.
At the back to school safety summit, he told parents what happend in Uvalde was not only disappointing, but unacceptable.
“It is contrary to everything we’ve been training for for easily 20 years,” Scesney said. “It was a categorical failure.”
He said there’s no doubt in his mind his department, which handles the police response for all Grand Prairie ISD campuses, would have acted differently.
“To put it quite frankly, their job is to penetrate the target, track down the shooter and pick a gunfight,” he said. “Our officers are highly trained, they’ve been battle tested in an actual field battling veterans. We’re trained by special forces officers.”
In addition to the district’s 18 school resource officers, the school district also hired a director of emergency management back in March, who has also been busy this summer hosting his own safety and security trainings.
“We have already done two with staff and I know we’re going to do two with the community in the coming weeks,” Grand Prairie ISD Spokesperson Sam Buchmeyer said.
When it comes to what parents can do, Scesney says the number one thing is to monitor your child’s social media.
“What we need is for parents to get involved and see what their kids are doing and alert the authorities if they see anything unusual,” he said.
Grand Prairie ISD said they’ve created an easy way to communicate any concerns. The StopIt app allows for direct reporting to the district and it’s anonymous.