Small school districts look to boost security - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Small school districts look to boost security

CLAUDE, TX- Panhandle parents are showing concern about security in small town schools after the attorney general's office called out seven school districts Monday for not having safety audits on file.
Claude and Bushland ISDs both say they did file the security audits required by a 2005 Texas law. Claude Superintendent Jadie Matthews showed Newschannel 10 the form submitted by his district on August 25, 2011. Matthews said the Texas School Safety Center never told them if they did not receive the form.
But he says school safety is about more than just filling out paperwork.

"We're going to start talking to the staff, sort of doing an internal audit," Matthews said. "Not to just fill out a form, but to see actually what we can, need to improve."

Newschannel 10 pulled a copy of the security audit districts must complete from the Texas School Safety Center website. It includes fairly simple yes or no questions that establish whether or not the district is following the law. But districts are looking to add more security than required by state law, and that can be expensive. 
Parents in small districts have brought up the idea of liaison officers, something most districts outside of the Amarillo city limits don't have. 
Bushland and River Road ISDs are two school districts without liaison officers. Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said he has offered the service to the schools before, but both refused because of the cost.
"We have that relationship," Thomas said. "We're just not in the school."

Both Bushland and Claude administrators say they are seeking outside security advice.

"We're going to do everything we can within our budget to make sure that everything here, all the security, is in first class condition," Matthews said. 

Matthews said school security is something that even the smallest districts value, but hope they never need.

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