Amarillo ISD keeping students safe by installing security fences at high schools

Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:18 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Every high school in Amarillo ISD will have a security fence by the beginning of next school year.

The reasoning for it is to keep students safe and unwanted guests out.

Palo Duro High School was the first high school in AISD to receive a security fence last year.

Currently, a fence is being installed at Amarillo High School and there are plans to install fences at Caprock High and Tascosa High next.

“We want them to feel safe and secure so they can learn and have a happy, learning educational environment,” said Paul Bourquin, director of safety and emergency preparedness, Amarillo ISD.

The impacts of installing security fences are predicted to go further than just keeping people out.

“The purpose of those is to secure our students from outside people. We want to make the campus secure where persons just cant walk through the campus, people that shouldn’t be there,” said Bourquin.

Bourquin says at Palo Duro High School, it has already allowed faculty to interact more with students.

“It allows the students to move within the campus. Move during the school day in a secure manner,” said Bourquin.

He believes these fences even add to the appearance of the school.

“They’re a high quality steel fence. They look really good. They aesthetically pleasing,” said Bourquin.

Cody Jones worked in schools as a school resource officer for 15 years and says a security fence could help if an intruder were to get on campus.

“It creates an environment for that bad actor or someone with bad intentions are going to be forced to be in an area where we can see them,” said Cody Jones, lieutenant of administration and emergency management at Randall County Sheriff’s Office.

He also agrees, adding safety measures can help students far beyond just keeping them physically safe.

“Schools traditional have been a safe haven for a lot of kids. Sometimes it’s the safest place that a kids will spend his time. They come out of environments that may not be safe so I think it’s important for school districts to do everything they can to make a sage environment for students to learn in,” said Jones.

AISD says they have already received positive feedback from parents.

These fences will be finished by fall of this year.

Bourquin says at this time there are no plans to build security fences at other schools.

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