CRAWFORD, Texas (FOX 44) – The Crawford Independent School District is giving an update on its security protocol after recent events.

Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hall sent out a press release saying the District is aware of the Uvalde school shooting from two weeks ago, and that “a sad, senseless crime has been carried out on innocent lives.”

Dr. Hall says these events have become a regular tragedy in our society – and that each time that it occurs, the District prays, mourns for the victims, holds its family and friends closer, and evaluates its response to similar scenarios.

Dr. Hall says much time will be given to re-evaluating safety and security protocols this summer. He believes a comprehensive safety plan implemented with consistent training schedules and practiced regularly with drills and evaluations is necessary to provide the safest instructional environment.

Dr. Hall says two primary safety plans guide the District in preparation to face emergencies. The Emergency Operations Plan provides strategies, procedures, and drills to address all types of hazards. The framework for this plan is provided to the district by the Texas School Safety Center. The plan is customized to fit the needs of our district. It is re-evaluated each year, and security audits are performed every three years.

The other guiding safety plan addresses threat assessment. This plan is designed to support procedures geared toward identifying potential threats and taking appropriate action to mitigate the potential hazard.

Dr. Hall says proper training is necessary for the effective implementation of any plan. For years, the District has regularly practiced fire and tornado drills. In recent years, additional attention has been given to focusing on drills to active shooter and campus evacuation scenarios. The Board of Trustees and administration will commit considerable time and discussion this summer to evaluate current protocols.

Additional training on those protocols will be implemented for staff during August in-service dates. When the new school year begins, we will have regularly scheduled drills on the protocols with staff and students.

A Guardian team is also in place. These team members have been trained in active shooter response techniques. Some of them have been authorized to carry concealed weapons on campus during the school day. The list of those authorized to carry will remain confidential. The Guardian team will train this summer with local and county law enforcement to enhance preparedness in response to a campus intruder.

Dr. Hall says any effective response to an emergency or crisis requires practice and drill. These types of learning experiences will replace some of the traditional classroom activities the District expects its children to experience. Unfortunately, these drills are a little more intense and traumatic than the fire and tornado drills from the past. It has become necessary for the District to face the discomfort of intensive drills to prepare for a hazard that hopefully never occurs.

Dr. Hall says the unfortunate position the District finds itself facing in public education is it has to confront needs other than those of traditional subject areas. Hall says the District cannot effectively teach core areas and grade levels without doing everything possible to also try to ensure the safety of staff and students.

Dr. Hall says trying to find a response to evil actions is going to be an ongoing task. As the District moves forward, its community is going to have to work together to try to stay in front of the next senseless criminal act aimed at children.