Central Texas school districts discuss CT shooting, crisis plans

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by ANDY PIERROTTI / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @AndyP_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 14 at 7:41 PM

AUSTIN -- Central Texas school districts are closely watching developments of the Connecticut school shooting. It has a lot of people talking about security. All say they have policies in place to handle a similar crisis if it happens in Central Texas.

In the meantime, area school districts are waiting to see if they can learn anything from this tragedy.

"I feel terrible for the family members and the victims there; very sad day," said Austin Independent School District Police Cpt. Christ Evoy.

AISD says if a similar shooting happened in Austin, its staff is trained. Each school performs at least 15 evacuation drills each year to react to possible shootings, fires and other emergencies. The district keeps specific procedures secret. 

"Each school has a crisis management plan and in that plan outlines guidelines for critical instances that staff and students can follow," Evoy said.

Austin ISD does not assign officers to elementary schools, but visitors face strict restrictions.

"They must check in at the front office, and in the process of that checking in we have a management system that screens to make sure people coming in are not going to pose a danger to our staff or students," Evoy said.

Leander ISD has similar visitor policies, including using a machine named Raptor that immediately conducts criminal background checks.

"As someone comes in, you'll hand them your drivers license at an elementary school, and we'll process that in a database," Veronica Sopher with Leander ISD said.

Both districts have not changed polices in wake of the Connecticut shooting. They say it's too early to react when there's still so much we don't know.

Districts say visitors to elementary schools must wear ID badges that have a picture ID on it.

In preparation for AISD's Dec. 17 board meeting, the district's communications office has added information to the AISD website, which they hope will be helpful to families and community members wishing to speak during citizen's communications. Click here for more information.

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