Safety & Security
A HUGE thanks to everyone who came out to last spring's Community Forum on School Safety & Security. We were overwhelmed by how many joined the conversation to be part of the solution to make our schools and students as safe as possible! A big thanks to the Gunter Police Department who partnered with us to host this event.
The event started with Dr. Siler sharing some of the safety improvements from the last 6 years:
- Secure Vestibules with Electronic Access
- Video Surveillance: Added cameras to all campuses
- Bus Security: Security Cameras & Radios
- Visitor Management System: Raptor System
- Classroom Communication System: Phones in all classrooms
- Use of Tip 411, Assess MD
- Safety & Security Audits: Audit of entire district completed in 2017
- Student / Staff Training & Drills: Fire, Evacuation, Lockdown, etc.
Dr. Siler then shared data from the Staff & Community Surveys highlighting some of the most significant areas of concern for the district and had table conversations on options to address each of these issues:
- Travel between campuses & facilities (we have 500+ students that travel between the MS & HS, athletic facilities, ag barn up to 8 times a day
- Issues with doors; kids opening doors for people; propping doors open
- Glass vestibules are not bulletproof
- Training of staff & students
- Outdoor recess (GES + 5th Gr) / lunch activities (GMS)
- Lack of IDs for students & staff
- Issues with Raptor System
- Vestibule at GMS leads directly into campus
The conversation then shifted to social & emotional health, focusing on how we identify students in need and how we support them. She shared a video from the Sandy Hook Foundation on gun violence warning signs that fostered rich conversation.
One of the highlight's of the night was hearing from our own expert panel: Chief Shawn Johnson and Sergeant Danny Jones from Gunter PD; Gunter residents Gary McHone (retired Prosper Assistant Chief of Police) and Darin Smith (Allen Police Department); Grayson County Sheriff Captain Harvey Smitherman and Texas Ranger Brad Oliver. Each shared suggestions, training ideas and how they're working together to keep us safe at school.
From structural upgrades to social & emotional health to solutions moving forward, it was an informative and impactful night. All of the presentation materials have been shared on our website - or the direct link here: https://tinyurl.com/gisdsafetyforum
The thing about student safety is that the work is never done. There is no box to check to say “we’ve achieved safety.” Instead, it is an everyday effort of “how do we make our kids safer today than they were yesterday?” In other words, the work was ongoing before this event and has continued ever since. Each of the table discussion facilitators took copious notes which the leadership team compiled and drafted the working plan below of “next steps” to take to continue our efforts to make Gunter ISD the safest place for kids to be!