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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

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Safety precautions added to Texas High

Students and staff adjust to new procedures
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With+her+arms+full+of+supplies%2C+Junior+Jayden+Manley+walks+through+metal+sectors+before+entering+campus.+Students+have+several+things+they+are+required+to+take+out+of+their+bags+to+ensure+they+dont+set+off+the+metal+detectors.+
Truth Dukes
With her arms full of supplies, Junior Jayden Manley walks through metal sectors before entering campus. Students have several things they are required to take out of their bags to ensure they don’t set off the metal detectors.

Walking onto campus to get to class every morning, students find themselves pulling multiple things out of their bags as they wait in a lengthy line of students moving through a metal detector. Texas High implemented new safety precautions and features for the 2023-2024 school year. 

“The district has spent several months during the summer working on [safety updates] and they’re still trying to complete the process,” Anderson said. “There have been several meetings throughout the last year and this summer.”

While metal detectors were put into use in May of 2023, additional features have appeared around campus since that time. Things like fencing, new badge ID systems and alert systems have been added over the summer and implemented for the 2023-2024 school year. 

“I have never seen a district get so much done in such a short period of time [when] responding to the needs of the students and the teachers,” Principal of Texas High Ben Renner said. “I thought [the metal detectors] would be this big huge deal, but it’s not.”

After the Uvalde shooting on May 24, 2022, the state of Texas implemented new precautions and requirements for all schools across Texas. The need for two defined entrances impacted Texas High the most.  To accomplish this, fencing was required due to the open campus design the school was originally built with.

“We did hire [several contractors],” Assistant principal Julius Anderson said. “Anytime something like this goes on, there’s only so much that our district maintenance guys can do.” 

The fencing now leaves students, faculty and staff with only two entrances: one by the math and science building and one by the Kennedy Lane bus stop. 

The administration of Texas High put in several hours of work throughout the summer to prepare for the back-to-school season. While efforts were put in, not all of the fencing was complete due to supply issues. 

“The contractor we used for fencing ran out of product and had to order some more pieces,” Anderson said. “Because the school year was starting, we had to put in some chain link temporarily until we could get the rest of the fencing in.”

With the safety updates still new to Texas High, adjustments as time goes on is necessary. 

“The students have been really great [adjusting],” Renner said. “Everything I have seen [students] do has been gracious.”

Every TISD employee now uses a new badge system to access buildings. This allows the district to track where, when and who accessed any building. 

“It’s similar to what you would use in a hotel room where you get a hotel card and it only accesses a certain room.” Anderson said. “[Staff has] a certain time frame they will be allowed to access campus.”

The district also added new alarm systems in case of intruders or active shooter situations.

“Staff members now have an easier way to let administration on the campus and in the district know that they’re might be a safety [issue] on campus,” Anderson said. “There’s some extra technology that has been purchased for that.”

The district was given money from the state to pay for the safety additions. However, this number only accumulated to around 5% of the total cost. 

“The state gave a certain amount of money, but that amount was minimal [in comparison] to this size of campus,” Anderson said. “This district has pretty much been directed from the state that there needs to be some safety enhancements so we are having to reallocate some funds in order to do that.”

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About the Contributors
Anna Bell Lee, Managing Editor/Webmaster
Anna Bell Lee is in her second year on the newspaper staff and is now Managing Editor and Webmaster. She is passionate about life and everything she does. She is a very organized and Type-A person but also loves to go with the flow. She loves her dog as if she were her child and would do anything for her. Lee plans on going to college for either nursing or journalism.   
Truth Dukes, Social Media Manager
Truth Dukes is a third year returning year staff photographer and is the current Social Media Editor for photography. She enjoys creative multimedia work, and plans to study Media Marketing after high school at the University of North Texas. Truth is excited to help lead the photographers this year aside the other photo editors, but is sad to finish her last year of being a staff photographer.

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