Dallas Schools Focus on Student Safety

By Patricia Hawke for Schools K-12

Dallas schools are dedicated to providing the best education possible, while keeping the children safe. Unfortunately, our world has changed in the past few years. It is no longer as safe as it once was to visit other countries, to fly from one city to another (especially the truly large and/or important cities, such as Washington D.C.), or to even go to school, especially in a large metropolitan city like Dallas.  Terrorists living within the borders of the United States have become a real threat. In Iraq, terrorists think nothing of bombing schools, so why would they restrain themselves here in America. This disregard of human life creates a heightened sense of fear, especially for our children. Dallas schools are doing something about it.

Ever since September 11, 2001, and the increase in student shootings within some U.S. schools, Dallas schools, under the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), have been instituting measures and programs to ensure they remain security focused and safety aware.

While allowing children and school personnel to go about their daily lives in as normal fashion as possible, Dallas Schools are maintaining a heightened awareness of any suspicious activities in order to lessen the fears of the children while adding greater safety and protection for both the children and school personnel. They have enlisted the help of every school employee — security officers, teachers, principals, administrators, custodial staff, and maintenance crews, as well as parents and students. Each has been asked to be vigilant of anyone who enters school property, including buildings and sporting events. They are asked to report any suspicious activity or concerns to the proper authorities or school personnel.

After 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. implemented our current system of security awareness. A yellow alert means the security threat is elevated, an orange alert means it is high, and a red alert (the highest) means it is severe. In the event of a red alert, Dallas schools will monitor recommendations from the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. From these recommendations, they will take the appropriate actions to ensure the safety of the children.  They will provide updated information concerning their intended and taken actions to parents and the community through the local television stations, radio stations, and at their web site.

Dallas schools currently provide counselors to assist children, who have any related fears or anxieties. Additionally, all of the Dallas schools have been asked by the DISD to carefully review their campus level emergency plans, as well as the school board’s emergency operations manual. 

Dallas schools are putting the safety of your children at the top of their priority issues list. You can be assured that your child is able to focus on each school day of learning within a safe and secure educational environment.