Parents and students heading back to school in the Clint Independent School District will notice some changes in security — some big, some small.
The first one is apparent at the front door, where an ID must be shown to gain access to campus. Superintendent Juan Martinez calls the area a “safety vestibule,” and says once parents prove who they are, they will be allowed in.
“We want our staff to get to know the parents…they will know the parents, but if we do not know who people are, they’re not allowed in the building at all,” says Martinez.
Employees will use their ID to get in the building, and no one can walk in without proper authorization.
Once visitors are allowed in, everything they do will be caught on new, digital cameras throughout the school. Each campus has at least 40 cameras, and high schools have up to 100. Cameras are monitored by security personnel at district headquarters.
Clint ISD Patrol Commander Ryan Urrutia says the cameras provide video evidence.
“Whether it’s assault, or damage to district property…anything we need evidence for, this will provide it,” says Urrutia. “Anything they can implement that helps us keep kids safe is great,” he says.
The bus ride to and from school has undergone some changes, too. Clint ISD boasts a new fleet of buses, 90 percent of which have seat belts and air conditioning.
Each campus now has its own, dedicated armed officer. For the past 6 years, schools have had to share these officers. The increased presence provides an extra layer of safety, and community involvement. It’s something Officer Urrutia says is vital.
“It’s also the education element as well. We teach kids responsibility, and things like stranger danger and different programs in the school,” Urrutia adds.