Fort Worth ISD implements new security measures ahead of new school year

Fort Worth ISD says it's still working to finish safety audits ordered by the Texas Education Agency after the Uvalde school shooting.     

The second-largest school district in North Texas also announced some enhanced security measures its putting in place, including weekly door checks and a new communications system.

Just days ahead of the start of the new school year, Fort Worth ISD is announcing its updated security measures.

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This comes two months after the board of trustees voted to create a dedicated safety and security team. The two in charge of leading that team gave Tuesday’s update.

Enhanced security measures include renewed enforcement of ID badge requirements for every student from 6th through 12th grades as well as all district staff and weekly door checks at every campus.

All visitors must also present an ID, which will then be run through a database. They’ll then receive a temporary badge.

The district is also working on improving its safety website and plans to use a new emergency management communications system that can send information quickly to the Safety and Security team.

"Safety and Security is notified every time one of our personnel dials 911 from a district phone. We get alerted," said Safety and Security Executive Director Daniel Garcia.

After the Uvalde mass shooting, the TEA required districts do a security audit and audit all doors on campuses.

The district expects to finish all auditing by the September 1 deadline but says it’s only about 30% finished fixing doors that need repairs.

Another issue for the district is filling positions for campus monitors. Roughly half of the district’s elementary schools don’t have a monitor, based on enrollment numbers.

"Whether you are a campus of 1,000 or a campus of 200, every elementary school should have a campus monitor," said Fort Worth ISD Trustee Anne Darr.

Even so, Garcia says the district has a communication advantage.

The district directly employs a police dispatcher, and all student resource officers can talk to each other during a crisis.

"Our SROs, our area advisors, we’re all on the same radio frequency so that really helps streamline the communication process," Garcia said.

The Fort Worth Police Department has been providing four-hour active shooter courses for teachers, staff and even civilians who are interested. 

All principals received safety and threat assessment training earlier this summer. Assistant principals will be trained this week.