School’s Stance on Safety

The district is taking precautions over safety issues for students and staff at school by updating procedures and implementing new strategies.

“We’re trying to look for ways to make sure there is better communication for (everyone) here and make sure we’re all on the same page,” Principal Thomas Hensley said. “We feel like we know it’s critical that we be more transparent with that. (We have a faculty meeting later where we’re going to talk about what we can do better for our students.) Something through panther den where there’s a feedback loop and some student voice. Maybe even some class grade level meeting just to go over processes and how to report things. At the end of the day we all want to be on the same page.”

Klein ISD has implemented a tool that students can use to express concerns over school related safety matters. Studentnet has been updated as the Klein ISD homepage which include a red, ‘Keep Klein Safe’ button in the top right-hand corner.  This link provides the opportunity for students, staff, and parents to ask safety questions, submit a comment or report a threat.

“On the front page of the Website there is a ‘Let’s Talk’ function with a big red button at the top,” Mr. Hensley said. “We try to make that more accessible. There is a way to anonymously report something. That report goes to lots of different people. Depending on what category you code it as, it goes to the police department, several officers, police chief, our Sargent over our campus, the principal of the school, all get this alert. It can be used from anything to bullying to a threat.”

Beyond the Keep Klein Safe button, various drills are placed and scheduled to be practiced at school in order to prepare all staff members and students in case a issue were to occur. Each drill requires specific instructions to ensure safety for all, which should always be taken in a serious matter. A meeting was held on March 3 with the Klein ISD Police officers to come up with an improved system to insure a better sense of clarity to students and teachers.

“You should have a sense of what you would do in a situation,” Mr. Hensley said. “We never want to do a drill just for the sake of doing drills to check the box. Because there’s a compliance component that we have to do a certain number of drills all of the time. I think its important that we never assume and become nonchalant about it. Whether it’s a fire drill or an intruder drill, we take it seriously.”

Students are upset by some of the rule changes such as the restrictions on outside food being brought in and the new plans over being able to enter the parking lot during school hours. However, these policies have been in place for years, and the urgency behind enforcing them is rapidly rising.

“This all goes back to being a safety thing,” Mr. Hensley said. “Most of the rules that exist are board adopted policies and we simply enforce that. When it’s going to your car, we allow it if you have a pass from the office. As an admin staff we’re not trying to be unreasonable with rules. It’s not our goal to make up rules that don’t make sense. I wasn’t that way as a teacher, wasn’t that way as a coach, and I don’t want to be that way as a principal. It’s systematic, we have to have some rules. It’s a safety concern.”

Many students have been feeling uneasy and afraid to attend classes on campus. In order for each student to feel comfortable and safe while at school, it is encouraged to talk to any adult on campus or parent and know that the discussions are completely confidential. If there is something bothersome, it should be told to an adult. It is always better to be safe than sorry with potentially harmful situations.

“I think that sometimes students feel as though if they come talk to their administrator or teacher that we’re going to share who said what,” Assistant Principal Richard Ray, Head of campus Safety and Security said. “Now I want you guys to know that confidentiality is very important to us. Trust is major in everything we do. We only share those things that we know that we have to share. We want to continue to create that culture where students feel like they can come and share those things that happen on campus. The only way we are going to get better is if we all pitch in and voice our concerns.”