McALLEN – National tragedies like the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and also a student within the school district posting a threatening message on social media which turned out to be a hoax prompted McAllen ISD to host a town hall meeting.
The town hall opened a conversation about safety and security procedures at McAllen ISD in which some parents in attendance felt like their students were safe while other parents as well as students deemed their school unsafe.
Superintendent of schools Dr. J.A. Gonzalez said the event in Florida posed the question How secure are we? Parlay national catastrophe along with hoaxes at McAllen ISD Gonzalez thought it was in the best interest of all the district stakeholders to host the event.
“Proud of our parents for coming out tonight,” Gonzalez said. “There were a lot of ideas and questions that sparked thinking.”
For now Gonzalez said the next step is to meet with the district emergency management team to decipher all the questions, in hopes to act quickly because the community needs to know that the reason for the town hall meeting was to take action and make things better at McAllen ISD.
The team is made of the McAllen ISD Police Department police chief, Gonzalez and other district officials who play different roles on how to respond to crisis situations.
Extreme measures of precaution like having a SWAT team in place has not been discussed but anything to make schools safer and to protect students and staff is something that will be considered.
Before the meeting took place Gonzalez looked at all the systems and practices the district has in place to keep students safe. The attention to detail leaves nothing to chance.
Suggestions brought up by parents that might increase security included new security huts at some schools, having an armed officer at elementary schools and having a text system for students who have phones on them to alert them of a danger.
The school district is still accepting suggestions and concerns via email at firstname.lastname@example.org