Texas Releases 2022-2023 School Intruder Detection Audit Results

Of the 4% of Texas school campuses where auditors gained unauthorized access, usually they used a back door.
Published: July 5, 2023

The Texas School Safety Center has released results of its statewide intruder detection audit for the 2022-2023 school year. The study found that inspectors at 95.6% of the 7,200 K-12 campuses that were audited did not gain unauthorized access. Of the more than 4% of campuses where auditors could enter, usually they used a back door. More than half the time (53.5%), no one stopped them once they gained entry to the school.

In most cases where auditors could gain unauthorized access, it didn’t take them very long:

  • 1 minute: 38.5%
  • 2 minutes: 21.5%
  • 3 minutes: 13.1%
  • 4 minutes: 6.7%
  • 5 minutes or longer: 20.2%

Overall, more than three out of four (75.5%) schools that were audited didn’t require any corrective actions. That said, 24.5% of the audited campuses received corrective actions of which 89.3% have been verified and addressed. The remaining 10.7% of the corrective actions are in the process of being verified.

Six percent of the schools that were audited didn’t ask for an ID, verify an ID through an electronic database, use a sign-in/sign-out roster, or issue a visitor badge. That said, 94% of all inspected campuses followed at least one of these procedures.

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Inspectors also checked if all exterior doors were locked, all doors were in working order, all doors were closed, all doors were properly secured, all doors were clear of nearby items that could be used for propping, and more. The biggest challenges were exterior doors that weren’t locked (14%) and items nearby that could be used to prop doors open (14.7%).

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Interestingly, 44.2% of the districts did not have a written and/or verbal policy/directive in place to close and lock classroom doors.

The reviews were conducted from September 2022 through May 2023. The final report didn’t say which specific districts or schools required corrective actions.

The audit was prompted by the May 24, 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas where an active shooter who gained access to the campus killed 19 children and two adults.

That tragedy has also prompted many K-12 schools and school districts in other states to conduct site assessments to identify security vulnerabilities, according to the 2022 Campus Safety Access Control and Lockdown Survey. The survey found that  27% of K-12 respondents said they conduct monthly assessments, and 13% said they conduct quarterly assessments. Additionally, 57% said more than 90% of their classroom doors can be locked from the inside.

Read the report.

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