Sinton ISD Superintendent Fields Questions About School Security

The Sinton Independent School District superintendent called parents together Thursday night to talk about the tougher security measures that are now in place.

Among those measures is a new, state of the art fingerprint tracking system. The new security measures came in the wake of the Connecticut school mass shooting.

Superintendent Steve VanMatre answered a number of questions from concerned parents.

"We don't want our schools to become a prison or a police state," VanMatre said. "We don't want to aggravate our student body, but primarily we want people to know who may have some bad intentions, that if they come to a Sinton school, whichever one they come to, there's going to be an armed presence there."

VanMatre let parents know that he is serious about security at Sinton schools, and was hoping they were onboard with his program; a program that includes armed officers at the schools and a new fingerprinting system that will go live Feb. 25.

Sprint representatives talked about the system, which is already installed on 12 district school buses. Students will have their fingerprints read at school, and whenever they get on or off a bus, they will have to have their print read by a scanner.

It's all part of an overall safety upgrade that nearly all of the parents seemed to back.

"I applaud everything that Superintendent VanMatre is doing, to basically bring everything up technologically, and keep us ahead," said Terri Hunt, a mother of three.

"I stand behind what we're doing," said Sonia Lopez, a member of the Sinton ISD school board. "We're doing the best that we can with what we have, and we don't want to be caught in a situation that we're going to feel sorry about."

A lot of questions were aimed at finding out about the qualifications and job duties of the armed security officers the district has employed. The officers were hired from a Corpus Christi security company.

One of the officers told the audience that he has undergone certified training through the Department of Public Safety. He also has to frequently be checked out on his proficiency at handling and shooting his gun.


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