FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The shock of the mass shooting at a school in Texas has some Central Valley parents concerned about their children’s safety as they drop them off at school each morning.
“It is a gut punch in so many ways when you see something like this happen,” said Clovis Unified School District Spokesperson Kelly Avants.
Each district has different security measures and protocols depending on the school’s budget and school board.
Fresno County Deputy Superintendent of Schools said while he understands parents’ fears there are measures in place.
“In my opinion our school campuses are safe,” said Gutierrez.
Avants said over the past two decades the district has made strides in improving campus safety.
“Safety isn’t something we woke up today and thought about,” said Avants. “Safety and security of our campus is something that is on our minds every single day.”
Avants said around 2012 the district was able to make changes to the locks with extra funding. Before the door could only be locked from the outside but now teachers can lock them from the inside as well.
The other changes made over the years include additional school resource officers, multiple exits in classrooms, and cameras that can be accessed by law enforcement in case of emergency.
“So again it is not something that we are thinking about as an event unfolding but we have taken steps in advance to make sure that it is in place,” Avants said.
Gutierrez said while it is important to have security measures in place, the best prevention measure is communication with youth and parents and speaking up if you see something on social media.
“If you do see something there is no harm in reporting it, the worst thing that could happen is that it is a false alarm or a false report,” said Gutierrez.
If you would like to see your school district’s safety plan you can reach out to your school to get that or look for it on the website.
In October, the Fresno County Office of Education will be hosting a training with all school districts, law enforcement, and the FBI to learn the best practices to prevent school violence.