school safety | KERA News

school safety

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Thursday was an uneasy day for schools in Dallas and others across the country. Two days after Los Angeles schools closed down because of threats, districts in Dallas, Houston and Florida decided to stay open after receiving similar threats.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The school bus of the future is here for kids in Dallas County Schools. At first glance, you may notice nothing new. But there are security cameras inside and out, a GPS tracker and alerts, seatbelts -- and even a thumbprint ID scanner.

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The shooting left 20 students and six adults dead. It also caused school districts and lawmakers across the country to re-examine security protocols in schools – including Texas. 

“When you talk about Sandy Hook Elementary and what happened that day – I think that a lot of people believe that it created or caused a reaction by law enforcement, first responders – that somehow changed from what we had been doing," says Austin School District Police Chief Eric Mendez.

In Dallas at least, school zone lights have been flashing this week, and some cars have even slowed down to the required 20 mph. But hitting the brakes is not required yet, say school officials. That’s because school isn’t in session until this coming Monday.

The legal, slower speed limit is not in force until then. Apparently, officials activate the lights in advance to make sure the flashers work and to remind drivers that school’s about to start. But come Monday, tickets will be issued.

dagnyg / flickr.com

A bill creating school marshals is headed to the Governor for his signature. The state Senate gave final approval to the bill today.

Highland Park ISD

Highland Park High School officials say they’re continuing with the school day despite the discovery of another threatening note.

Highland Park ISD

A Highland Park High School student found a handful of .22 caliber bullet shells in a bathroom Wednesday, and the school's 2,000 students were sent home early for the second consecutive day.

Starting today, Dallas drivers who pass a school bus with the ‘stop arm’ activated will get a $300 ticket in the mail. The grace period is over – no more ‘warnings’ when cameras on the school buses catch violators.