Schools all around Texas have begun implementing new techniques and practices in order to ensure that all students and staff are safe during the day while on school grounds. In the last five years, there have been multiple shootings in Texas, with two of those happening on Texas school campuses. Along with the shootings, there have been countless threats about shooting happening in schools, causing schools to be shut down or evacuated for a number of hours.
Since the shooting that happened in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary, the safety of students has become the main priority when the start of the new school year came around. Among the many schools that have made many changes to the way they are now run is Russell Lee Elementary in Austin, Texas. Multiple practices that had been known to many staff members and students who attended the school have had to be changed to ensure a more secure and safe place. Principal Caitlin Sileo and her staff have had to work diligently to make the necessary changes for the school to be a safer place.
Parents started thinking about whether they should still enroll their children in schools following the shooting, knowing that there would be the possibility of it happening again. Some reports say that parents didn’t know what to do because if the shooting happened on their campus, they knew that it could happen on any other school campus.
A lot of things are new this year on campus, like having to ring the doorbell and show authentification before you are allowed inside the building. Before the shootings had happened, parents were able to walk with their children inside the building and drop them off directly at their classrooms, but since then, parents have had to drop off their children in the front and then let the staff and sixth graders who do safety patrol make sure their kid gets into the school safely. There has also been the addition of fencing along the whole perimeter of the school, with locks on every gate. Along with other schools, Lee Elementary has also benefitted from the bond program where they are obtaining things like more safety, upgraded technology, and a secure entrance to the building. The same can be said about Robb Elementary, as they have made efforts to enhance their security and make sure that their students are taken care of.
With the new school options in place for students and families to choose from, parents and adults will need to make sure that children are treated with compassion and help during the time after the shooting. Making sure that they know it’s ok to feel scared and that they can ask for help from anyone when they need it. The media can share a lot that children are able to see and get a hold of, so parents will need to monitor what their kids are seeing on tv or other forms of media that they can obtain.
Helping students with their questions about shootings can educate them more to understand what more to do in case another shooting occurs in their presence. Shootings can happen whenever and wherever, so it is important to know how to handle the situation in a way that doesn’t cause more panic than needed.