New Texas Legislation To Improve School Safety, Security

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas lawmakers have passed Senate Bill 11, which is designed to improve emergency planning and school security for all districts in the state.

Audits will be completed to evaluate the level of safety at schools, and districts will be required to have an EOP by Aug. 31, 2008. Information on how to develop a plan can be obtained from the Texas School Safety Center. This includes procedures for lockdown, evacuation, shelter in place, and drop and cover.

Locks and other access control technologies are other tools that will be used to keep harmful people out of classrooms while classes are in session. Additionally, entry will be limited to one door, and visitors will be required to wear badges.

During attacks, children on playgrounds might be evacuated to other locations. Those in cafeterias would be sent to the classrooms for lockdown or else sent to other more secure areas.

The “drop and cover” portion of the EOP should cover evacuations resulting from bomb threats, fires or inclement weather. If students cannot leave a facility due to a threat being outside, they would be instructed to “shelter in place.” The EOP should then cover how students would be fed, as well as how the school would shut down its climate control mechanisms and seal the area so outside air cannot infiltrate the school.

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