AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo ISD Schools will be back in session on Tuesday, Aug. 15. Before school starts, police are addressing safety and security measures.
Chief Paul Bourquin with Amarillo ISD’s Police and Safety Department shared a reminder before students head back to the classroom.
“Parents or students, if they see something that’s concerning, you know, see something, say something. Just let us know if there’s something that’s of concern,” Bourquin said, noting they work with Amarillo Police to cover Amarillo schools.
“From the Amarillo Police Department liaison program, we have 14 officers with that program that covers secondary campuses,” he continued. “Internally with Amarillo ISD police department, we have four officers, a captain, and myself, and we cover elementary campuses.”
APD Sgt. Carla Burr said when liaison officers cannot be on campus, they send patrol officers to help keep schools safe.
“What we’re hoping for is preventing an incident of somebody coming from outside or even you know, if there’s problems between kids, that maybe has started to escalate to the point that there could be potential danger,” Sgt. Burr said. “Our officers are there to work with those kids, to work with that staff, and let them know that we’re all in this together and protect them.”
According to Chief Bourquin, Amarillo school zones will be activated next week.
“So watch your speed in school zones and slow down so we don’t have any accidents,” he said. “Be patient, you know, at drop off and pick up times, just be patient with our staff, and as kids are learning the routines.”
Sgt. Burr reminded drivers that when a bus is stopped with flashing lights, they cannot simply slow down.
“Stop and don’t go again till the red lights turn off on the bus and the stop signs go back to the side,” she said. “Because if you go around a bus while those are on, that’s also a traffic offense, and you’re gonna get a ticket if we catch you doing that.”
She noted drivers should also watch out for students in crosswalks.
“Let’s do our part as the citizens of Amarillo and slow down and watch out for them and help them be successful this year,” Burr added.
Chief Bourquin also said there are stricter punishments for vaping on campus this year. He said students caught with any vape devices will be required to be placed in alternative education placement as of Sept. 1.
“I think our legislators, they’re trying to curb some of the things that happen with vapes…” Bourquin continued. “I mean, it’s not good for students, obviously and it’s, it’s a health concern. So any vape device, you know, they’re going to be having to go to that AEP placement.”