Saying that safety and security are the top priorities for Dallas ISD, Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde on Tuesday spelled out the district’s new Comprehensive Safety Plan, which was put together with input from two safety task forces including staff, students, parents, community members, and safety and security professionals.
The task forces reviewed a variety of data points, district safety protocols, national security trends and recommendations for potential issues as part of their approach. The district is also going beyond the recent requirements from the Texas School Safety Center. The safety plan includes:
- Facility enhancements and protocols
- Mental well-being programs for students
- Training and safety awareness for all staff
- Resources for reporting potential issues
- Outreach to parents to support school safety at home
“While safety and security have always been a priority, we know that it is very important to our community right now more than ever, and so we wanted to provide an update to our entire community,” said Elizalde. “Safety and security are our No. 1 goal.”
The safety and security plan emphasizes cooperation with school district and local law enforcement, as well as calls for safety checks, metal detectors, and other safety enhancements. Some highlights are listed below.
Students: Secondary students are required to have clear or mesh backpacks only. There will be continued safety drills for students, as well as in-school “reset centers” to address disciplinary infractions, mental health support, and the use of the Say Something anonymous reporting system and Campus Crime Stoppers.
Staff: Four members will be added to the district’s Emergency Management team, and hall monitors will be transitioned to trained security personnel as openings are filled.
Training: All nurses, reset center coordinators, counselors, clinicians, assistant principals, principals and school resource officers will be trained in the Threat Assessment Process.
Safety checks and drills: Campus staff will be involved in conducting ongoing drills and checks. Additionally, they will participate on campus safety committees throughout the year.
Parents and Community: Dallas ISD will establish Parent School Safety Committees to generate additional ideas to improve safety on campus. These groups will enhance the work of the district’s School Safety and Security Committee, which meets quarterly and includes parents. Each school is expected to have a Parent Safety Committee that meets regularly.
Anonymous reporting system: Dallas ISD has two programs available for parents and the community to report potential threats to school safety. Campus Crime Stoppers offers rewards for reporting criminal and code of conduct violations and is a partnership between the Dallas ISD Police Department and the North Texas Crime Commission. The Be SMART campaign was launched to raise awareness that secure gun storage—storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition—can save children’s lives. Dallas ISD will work with parents to offer information and training on how to properly and safely store firearms.
Mental health and well-being: The district’s Youth and Family Centers offer care and resources for students and their families, including mental health services from a team of licensed clinicians and psychiatrists. Available services include individual, family and group counseling, psychiatrist consultations, medication management, and parent education and workshops.
For more information on Dallas ISD’s Comprehensive Safety Plan, visit: www.dallasisd.org/safeschools