Killeen ISD discusses school safety as fears over Uvalde massacre remain high

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 9:57 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - On the same night the Uvalde school shooting video came to light, discussions were taking place about school safety here in Central Texas.

The Killeen Independent School District’s board of trustees were presented with an overview of its current security protocols and some upcoming training changes.

But, at least from the audience’s perspective, it seems the school safety concern may never go away.

“I have had a fear for some time, of someone coming and shooting up an athletic event,” said one person, speaking during the public comment period.

And it was not just area residents feeling concerned.

“We’re all uneasy… there’s an uneasiness now,” said Chuck Kelley, KISD’s director of investigations and school safety.

The overview of safety procedures was in part, fueled by the May 24 Uvalde massacre that left more than 20 dead. Protocol was also reviewed because of new guidelines from the Texas Education Agency and Texas School Safety Center.

“Obviously there is an emphasis on school safety as a result of the situation in Uvalde,” said John Craft, the district’s superintendent.

The board heard from the school’s chief of police and director of school safety about the recent review and what to expect next year.

One of the first things on the list: monthly safety drills on campuses.

“Every month they have to report to us that their drills are done and we’ll track them on the spreadsheet,” said Kelley. “And if somebody misses it, we’ll fix that.”

On top of that, there is more emphasis on doors.

It was reported the gunman in the Uvalde shooting was able to go into the school and classrooms because of doors that were not locked.

“It used to be kind of a nice thing, like, ‘hey you need to keep that locked,’” said Kelley. “Well, now we’re not quite as nice about it.”

The police department also has a K-9 that will not only be used to sniff out narcotics on campus, but also weapons.

“If we ever had to use a dog to apprehend someone, to retrieve them out of a situation and not put someone else at risk,” said Ralph Disher, KISD’s chief of police. “The dogs are trained in that as well.”

On top of that was some suggestions from board members that school officials say could be taken into consideration for the future.

The district also plans on having community meetings in the future to discuss school safety. Those dates will be released at a later time.

“There’s always room for improvement,” said Craft. “As we learn more from the incident, situation in Uvalde, we’ll be incorporating appropriate changes into our plans to ensure that we’re absolutely prepared.”

Related Link: Video shows police milling in hallway during Uvalde massacre

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