District leaders provide update on efforts to increase safety at schools and facilities

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A clear bag policy at sporting events, increased safety audits at schools, and campus threat assessment teams that recognize and potentially intervene with students identified as possible threats to themselves or others are among new measures being adopted in Dallas ISD to safeguard students. District leaders briefed trustees Feb. 11 about these and other efforts to increase safety at district schools and facilities.

A separate presentation at the briefing detailed how a possible 2020 bond measure could fund robust security enhancements at every school. These might include replacing antiquated school cameras and purchasing more current weapon detection systems.

Chief of School Leadership Stephanie Elizalde told trustees it is critical to balance the safety of facilities while making sure schools don’t resemble prisons.

“Safety is our number one priority, and we will tirelessly work to ensure every student and staff member feels secure at our schools or facilities,” Elizalde said. “But it’s also critical that our students don’t feel like they are being unfairly targeted while at school.”

Elizalde and other district leaders detailed school safety prevention measures underway or being planned. These include:

  • Promoting social and emotional learning to help create a safe, supportive and welcoming environment at schools.
  • Working to ensure campus leadership teams and police officers are better communicating so all parties are on the same page regarding safety.
  • Gathering input at the district Teen School Board meetings and parent workshops to ensure stakeholders’ voices are heard and concerns are addressed,
  • Collaborating closely with the Dallas Police Department and hosting committees and task forces to ensure the district employs effective safety practices.
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