AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a recent survey of students at schools in the Austin Independent School District, 87 percent of students say they feel safe at school.
The goal was 91 percent of students, which was the feedback for the survey in 2017.
In the wake of fatal shootings this year in Florida and in Texas, schools across the country are upgrading security features on campuses to keep students safe. AISD is no different.
“We have started to implement changes and put in some money to remedy some of the larger needs for security on individual campuses,” explained Dr. Craig Shapiro, the associate superintendent of high schools for AISD, during Monday’s board work session.
According to district officials, the 2017 bond is made of $26.6 million for life safety and police equipment updates across the district. These upgrades include security cameras, system upgrades, updates for fire alarms, as well as radio and dispatch updates.
However, making sure that school buildings’ infrastructure is secure at each of its schools is not the only job for the district.
“Not only do our students have to be safe, but they have to feel safe,” said Debra Ready, the executive director of accountability and assessment for AISD. “I don’t find it surprising given the incidents in Austin and then those across the nation that our students are not feeling as safe in schools.”
Ready called the issue “a cause for concern.”
Although the bond measures were already in place before this year’s deadly school shootings, AISD says safety has to go beyond the school buildings.
“We need a comprehensive approach, which is physical, psychological, and emotional safety,” added Shapiro.