Texoma school districts tighten up on security

Texoma school districts tighten up on security

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - School administrators across Texoma are busy tightening security and putting plans into place to deal with possible threats.

A recent study reported by CNN shows an increase in school threat arrests across the state. Schools in Nocona, Vernon and Graham all dealt with threats made by students this past school year.

Texoma schools are working harder than ever to make sure no further harm is brought to their classrooms.

Earlier this week Bowie ISD announced they will move forward with the plan to arm some staff members and put together a behavioral health assessment team to counsel troubled students.

Those are just a couple of many security upgrades they have in the works.

Bowie ISD Superintendent Steven Monkres said, "The Emergency Operation Communication Command here in Montague County approached us with the idea of putting radios on our campuses. If for example the internet was down, or if the phone line was down, or a cell tower was disabled, we can communicate directly with law enforcement, or EMS personnel, or also just between campuses."

Archer City ISD is making some upgrades as well. They are adding more security cameras and bullet proof glass that will protect the entrance of the school.

They also have new door technology that will alert every law enforcement agency, student, parent and school administrator if a threat occurs.

While the recent shootings have everyone on high alert they are not the only reasons Region 9 schools are buckling down on safety measures.

Last September a Vernon High School student was accused of making a hit list and was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat.

In January of 2018 Woodland Elementary in Graham was placed on lockdown following verbal threats from a couple of students.

A month after that in Nocona, a high school student was also arrested and charged with the making a terroristic threat for reportedly posting a tweet that read "NHS needa be shot up".

Since then all three districts have made numerous changes that include upgrades to the entrances and more security cameras.

Specifically, in Nocona they have decided to allow some teachers to carry concealed weapons.

In Graham the district also plans to arm select staff members.

At Vernon ISD the school board hired a new security resource officer, added special new locks for classrooms and office doors, and are looking into arming teachers there as well.

Schools are not just undergoing physical security changes. Bowie and Wichita Falls ISD are both giving attention to students' mental health.

WFISD plans to have a director of social & emotional services across all of their schools, while Bowie is putting a team together.

Bowie Superintendent Monkres feels a mental health team will be the most important part of their security plan.

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