The Donna Independent School District is taking a proactive approach and implementing extra safety measures following several incidents that have occurred across the nation in recent months.
The latest tool currently being put in place across the school district is the E-Reader Video Door Keyless Entry System. So far, the device has been installed at 3D Academy and 7 elementary schools with the goal of completing the remaining elementary campuses by this fall. The middle schools will follow suit along with both high schools.
“The whole point of this keyless entry system is to give our school district an added layer of safety and security for our campuses,” DISD Police Chief Daniel Walden said. “With everything that’s going on throughout the nation, we want to be proactive and not reactive. It just gives us a higher level of security for our students and staff where intruders are not able to get onto our campuses.”
Any unauthorized person seeking to enter the building will not be able to get in just like that. They will need to contact the front office administrative staff using the intercom at the entrance. The staff member will then verify their identity over the videophone and allow or deny access. Thanks to the intercom being connected to the camera system, all visits will be recorded, as well.
“We’re asking visitors to be patient because there will be times when the administrative staff is answering phone calls and attending to other day to day operations,” Walden said. “We want to emphasize to everyone that this device is being implemented for the safety and security of our students.”
Ochoa Elementary parent Diana Ramos visits her children’s campus.
P.S. Garza Elementary is among the DISD schools that has already been equipped with the device. “Providing a safe learning environment is priority at Donna ISD,” P.S. Garza Elementary Principal Maria Partida said. “Isn’t it amazing how a simple push of a button can make us feel much safer? Being able to see the entry and exit points of our building is crucial in providing that security for our school.”
Garza Elementary Parent Roceo Seguro said the new security measures are a step in the right direction. “I am very satisfied with this new security tool at my children’s school,” Seguro said. “I will now feel at peace when I’m at home or when I’m out running errands knowing that my children are safe and taken care of. No one will be able to enter the building unless they step in front of the camera and get permission to go in.”
Additional security measures such as door barricades are also expected to be installed across DISD campuses at a later date.