CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — School districts across Texas have been reviewing their safety and security best practices after a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and killed 19 students and two teachers in May. Corpus Christi ISD updated their regulations recently to formally include a locked-door policy, according to a news release from the district.
“While we implemented an ‘if it can be locked, it should be locked’ procedure in 2013 following the Sandy Hook tragedy, it was important to take the extra step to formally include it in our policies,” said CCISD Police Chief Kirby Warnke.
Warnke met with district officials on July 21 to discuss the policy. The new rule was added to CCISD's board policies on July 25.
Chief Warnke met with 3NEWS at Garcia Elementary to discuss the door-lock policy.
"If you don't lock your exterior door and classroom door then we know tragedy can happen," said Warnke.
He also address questions about how kids would get out during another type of emergency like a fire.
"Everything we do is fire code savvy, so the doors are designed not to let bad guys in but in the event of an emergency we can all get out," said Warnke.
Regulation CLA, which addresses buildings, grounds and equipment management, now includes:
To ensure a safe learning environment for all students and staff, all classrooms/instructional areas will be closed and locked during the instructional day. The requirement is inclusive of, and shall apply to, all classrooms in use by substitute teachers.
“In addition to meeting all state requirements for safety and security, we are continuing to consider feedback from throughout the community as we work to maximize security,” said Superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez. “Setting this important staff expectation into policy helps all of us understand how very vital it is to ensure doors remain locked for everyone’s safety.”
The district also took action to upgrade its bully reporting system, which will now include an enhanced platform that can accept a wide range of safety-related inquiries, according to the statement. The district said the new reporting system should be ready to go before the first day of school, which is Tuesday, Aug. 9.
“I am proud of our employees for taking the initiative to seek ways we can continue to foster safety in our district,” Hernandez said. “Together, we can be prepared and look forward to the new school year.”
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